Terryl L. Givens to deliver 2019 Neal A. Maxwell Lecture

event posterThe Institute's own Terryl Givens has accepted the invitation to deliver this year's Neal A. Maxwell Lecture on Saturday, November 16 at 7 PM. He has selected the theme, “Apologetics and Disciples of the Second Sort.”

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter called disciples to the task of apologetics: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

That phrase—“give an answer”—is a translator’s rendering of the Greek word apologia—an apology or defense; an explanation about how our faith gives us reason to hope. What form might we best use to communicate our reasons? And what does it mean to offer our witness, as Peter urges, “with meekness and fear”?

Terryl L. Givens will discuss how apologetics and disciple-scholarship more broadly requires a particular quality of mind and also heart.

Saturday, November 16
7 PM
Brigham Young University
Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni & Visitors Center Assembly Hall

Upcoming Events

  • November 14  |  1:30 PM
    Lecture—Margaret Bendroth, “New Life from Old Stories”
    Education in Zion Auditorium
    Sponsored by BYU's Department of History
  • November 16  |  7 PM
    Annual Neal A. Maxwell Lecture, featuring Terryl L. Givens
    “Apologetics and Disciples of the Second Sort”
  • November 18  |  4 PM 
    Lecture—Terryl L. Givens, “The Great Plan of Happiness”
    Part 3 of a 4-part lecture series called "The Choice to Believe." 


CALL FOR APPLICANTS—2020 Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar

“A Wrestle Before God: Reading Enos 1”
The 7th Annual Summer Seminar on Latter-day Saint Theology
Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Bordeaux, France
June 22–July 4, 2020

logoIn the summer of 2020, the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and faculty devoted to reading Enos 1. The seminar will be hosted by Pr. Bernadette Rigal-Cellard at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne in Bordeaux, France, from June 22 through July 4, 2020. Travel arrangements, housing, and a $1250 stipend will be provided for admitted participants. The seminar will be led by Adam Miller and Joseph Spencer, directors of the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar.

The seminar welcomes applications from a wide variety of academic disciplines, cultural backgrounds, and geographic locations. Graduate students, junior faculty, and scholars based outside the U.S. are especially encouraged to apply, though applications from senior and independent scholars are also welcome. Applications are due December 31.

Sponsored by the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar in partnership with The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, and the Wheatley Institution

CALL FOR APPLICANTS—2020 Summer Seminar on Latter-day Saint Culture

“The Restoration and the Arts: Theory, Practice, Intersections”
Brigham Young University
June 8 – July 14, 2020

In the summer of 2020, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and other qualified individuals on “The Restoration and the Arts: Theory, Practice, Intersections.” Approaches that emphasize virtually any aspect of the theory or practice of art (visual, dramatic, literary, or musical) in the Latter-day Saint tradition, or the intersection of Latter-day Saint art with theology, pedagogy, or worship, will be welcome. Terryl Givens, Neal A. Maxwell Senior Research Fellow at the Maxwell Institute, will co-direct this summer’s seminar with Latter-day Saint artist Brian Kershisnik.

Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3,000 with an accommodations subsidy if needed. International participants will also receive some transportation assistance, the amount to be determined by availability of funding. (We hope to cover most airfares for the internationals).

Applications are due February 15, 2020. 

Terryl Givens’s four-part lecture series continues through December

GivensIn this four-part lecture series, the Maxwell Institute’s Terryl Givens discusses “The Choice to Believe.”

Philosophers and theologians through the ages have recognized that in life’s greatest transactions, human reason comes up short in detecting sufficient grounds for decision making. If belief is to have any moral value whatsoever, then the human will must be involved in the choice to believe. Otherwise, belief would be forced rather than a matter of choice.

To Givens, the ambiguity of evidence, the maelstrom of competing voices, the indeterminacy of religious claims is not a defect in the plan: it is the precondition for its effective implementation.

9/23—Lecture 1, “The Doors of Faith” (Watch online now)
10/21—Lecture 2, “Awful Woundedness”  | (Watch online now)
11/18—Lecture 3, “Great Plan of Happiness”  | 4 PM
12/9—Lecture 4, “Worlds Without End”  | 4 PM

This lecture series is sponsored by the Office of the Associate Academic Vice President for Undergraduate Studies and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.


“Awful Woundedness,” by Terryl L. Givens
Part two of a four-part lecture series called "The Choice to Believe" 
Explorations in the Book of Mormon (Part 3)
Kimberly Berkey, and Daniel Becerra introduce their "Brief Theological Introductions" to the Book of Mormon
Explorations in the Book of Mormon (Part 4)
Adam Miller (Mormon), Rosalynde Welch (Ether), and David Holland (Moroni) introduce their "Brief Theological Introductions" to the Book of Mormon


Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation.

Is faith a choice? Does faith come naturally to some more than others? Terryl Givens and Rosalynde Welch have written and spoken on these questions, and each of them bring interesting perspectives to the discussion.

WATCH    |    LISTEN    |    READ
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