Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Women's Spirituality at Sunstone

Here is a list of Women’s Spirituality-related sessions available at the Sunstone Symposium over the last few years. There may be more but I compiled a list of the most prominent sessions. If you missed the symposium this year, or in the past, you can download sessions in MP3 format via the Internet. Cost ranges from free - $4 per session:

2005 Salt Lake Symposium

This year Sunstone introduced workshops to the symposium! The highlight of which was the return of Margaret Starbird, whose workshop was entitled


Program excerpt:

Was Mary Magdalene the wife and Beloved of Jesus? What became of her after the Crucifixion of Christ? Why did the Church Fathers suppress her story, and why must we now retrieve it? This workshop will explore the legends and mythology of the Sacred Union that was once at the very heart of the Christian faith. Reclaiming Mary Magdalene as the “Sacred Bride” helps to correct the tragic “design flaw” in Western civilization—the devaluing of the Feminine—that has become painfully obvious at the threshold of the third millennium. –end of excerpt.

Unfortunately, there were technical difficultues during this session and they were unable to post an MP3 to the website. They did catch it on video however, and I emailed Sunstone to let them know that they could make some money if they decided to sell the tape, since Starbird is such a popular speaker.

SL05171, Joseph Smith, Women, and The Feminine - speakers: Margaret Toscano, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Linda King Newell - This panel examines Joseph Smith’s life and teachings in relationship to women. How did Joseph treat women? What influence did they have on him? What role did they play in his life and theology? In ushering in “the restoration of all things,” what did Joseph restore about women and the feminine?

SL05273, Advancing Feminist Sensibilities Among Mormon Men

The following session was in the preliminary program but not on MP3, does anyone know if this session took place?

This session was sponsored by the relatively NEW Moonstone!


In western religious cultures, female roles are often suppressed, disguised, or diminished in a variety of ways. Yet gender is central in the construction of religion, theology, texts, and culture, and women are present or integral to the formation of a religion. Panelists will discuss how their work excavates female or feminine roles from obscurity in religious contexts where they are embedded.
• MARGARET STARBIRD, author, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar and The Goddess in the Gospels (key sources used and cited by Dan Brown), also The Feminine Face of Christianity and Magdalene’s Lost Legacy.
• MAXINE HANKS, writer, lecturer, feminist theorist, Gnostic; editor, Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism, editor Moonstone column; author of numerous articles and essays on feminine theology
• Additional panelists to be announced

2005 Sunstone West - California Symposium featured:

SW05051, PANEL. MORMON FEMINIST LITERATURE REVIEW - speakers: MARY ELLEN ROBERTSON, CAROL LYNN PEARSON, LAVINA FIELDING ANDERSON, NADINE HANSEN - Join panelists for a lively discussion of our favorite, provocative, thought-provoking, revolutionary, inspirational, and faith-enhancing books in the field of feminist spirituality. Re-discover the classics, and hear about newer volumes too good to keep to ourselves! A list of our top picks will be available for the audience.

2004 Salt Lake Symposium

SL04091, RECLAIMING MAGDALENE: THE LOST BRIDE IN CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY - speakers: MARGARET STARBIRD - excerpt: In this second Smith-Pettit lecture, Margaret Starbird will discuss the partnership of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, providing evidence from the Hebrew and Christian sacred texts that the Sacred Union was originally at the heart of the Christian mythology. The loss of the 'Bride" in the Christian story has had tragic consequences. Restoring the holy mandala of the hieros gamos--the sacred marriage tha...

SL04271, REAL GODDESSES HAVE CURVES (AND IDENTITIES) - speakers: HOLLY WELKER, DOE DAUGHTREY, MAXINE HANKS, JANA BOUCK, REMY, MARY ELLEN ROBERTSON, MARGARET M. TOSCANO - symposium: 2004 Salt Lake Symposium - excerpt: This panel invites Mormon women to talk about how they find meaning and inspiration in images of divine female power drawn from other religions and traditions. What do we learn about ourselves as women and as agents of the divine by studying the stories or representations of goddesses such as Shakti, Kali, Rhiannon, Venus, Athena, Spider Woman, White Buffalo Woman, Isis, Kuan Yin, and so forth? Es...

SL04132, WOMEN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING: SPIRITUAL PRACTICES THAT HAVE ENRICHED MY LIFE - speakers: LISA HANSEN, DOE DAUGHTREY, WENDY DUTSON, JANA BOUCK REMY - This panel will explore the contribution of spiritual practices to our connection with “that which matters most.” Panelists will discuss the way prayer, meditation, temple worship, yoga, spirit world journeys, lucid dreaming, symbol and energy work, Native American sweat lodge ceremonies, and other contem­plative activities have helped them find meaning in crisis and in everyday life.

SL04153, MOTHER EARTH, FATHER PATRIARCHY: EMBRACING A MYTHOLOGY OF RESPECT, EQUALITY, AND HARMONY - speakers: JENNIFER CHANDLER JONES, KERRY SHIRTS - Deep within human consciousness and throughout mythology, we observe the earth symbolizing the feminine energy of the cos-mos. In much of the world, human beings have inherited a mythology that promotes men’s authority and dominance over the earth and over women. This core belief has left a legacy in which women are subjugated and our planet is being destroyed. As we enter the 21st century, we are...

SL04215, PERSEPHONE AWAKENED: A POETRY READING AND DISCUSSION OF NEGOTIATING FEMALE POWER WITHIN A PATRIARCHY - speakers: DANIELLE BEAZER DUBRASKY - By contrasting the traditional Demeter/Persephone myth with a contempo­rary interpretation, this session will explore how LDS women negotiate power within patri­archy and the possibilities of creating more balance. Persephone Awakened is a book of poems written in a contemporary voice of Persephone as she addresses a childhood companion whom she loses after her abduc­tion. The poems are accompanie....

SL04371, WHAT’S BEHIND THE DA VINCI CODE CRAZE? UNCOVERING THE DIVINE FEMININE - speakers: PAUL TOSCANO, JANICE ALLRED, JODY ENGLAND HANSEN, MARGARET M. TOSCANO - This panel will be a roundtable exploration of important questions raised both by Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, and by its enthusiastic reception in the national and LDS markets. What makes the book so popular? The desire for the divine feminine? The pos¬sibility of Jesus being married? The connec¬tion between Mary Magdalene and the holy...



SW04001, IN SEARCH OF HER: WOMEN AND DIVINE FEMININE - speakers: Carol Lynn Pearson, Carol P Christ

SW04041, WHERE HAVE ALL THE MORMON FEMINISTS GONE? - speakers: Peggy Fletcher Stack, Maxine M Hanks

SW04071,PANEL. FACT IN FICTION? CRACKING 'THE DA VINCI CODE' - speakers: Maxine M Hanks, Dennis McDonald, George L Gorse, Bradley A Tepaske, Kristy Coleman

2002 Salt Lake Symposium These sessions are FREE to listen to online

SL02161, Our Greatest Challenge: Why Women's Priesthood Needs to Be Recognized in the LDS Church Today - speakers: Todd M Comptom, Vicke Stewart Eastman

SL02-212, Moonstone/Sunstone Dyad as Metaphor of Wholeness - speakers: Maxine Hanks, Linda P Wilcox

SL02254, Body, Parts, and Passions: Representing the Divine Feminine in the Mormon Church - speakers: Doe Daughtrey, Margaret Toscano - This paper examines why Mother in Heaven has been progressively eliminated from institutional discourse. Viewing Mother through the lens of iconography, I suggest that the Church’s move to designate her as “sacred” is an iconoclastic act that dissociates her from Mormon collective memory. Given Mother’s significance in Mormon cosmology, why has she disappeared from our discourse and become so “sac ...

SL02336, Anniversary Looks at Two Feminist Books - speakers: Maxine Hanks, Mary Ellen Robertson, Sonja Farnsworth, Judy Dushku, Nola Wallace, Rodello Hunter

2001 Salt Lake Symposium FREE SESSIONS

SL01123, Mormon Women in the 21st Century - speakers: Lynn M Anderson, Molly M Bennion - Six years ago, I presented 'Issues in Contemporary Mormon Feminism" at the first-ever Mormon Studies Conference at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. This paper, revised since I presented it initially at the second Mormon Studies Conference (University of Durham, UK, 1999), takes an updated look at official, quasi-official, and unofficial views of Mormon women--especially of their role...


SL01275, Women in Religious Studies - speakers: Maxine Hanks, Janet Kincaid, Jana Riess, Mary Ellen Robertson, Cherie Woodworth - More women are pursuing advanced degrees in religious studies than ever before and a number of Mormon women seem to be following suit. This panel is comprised of Mormon women who are doing work in religious studies and/or Mormon studies. They will describe how they became interested in studying religion, what their areas of specialty are, what work they have done in these areas, and how the...

1999 Salt Lake Symposium FREE SESSIONS

SL99276, IS THERE A FUTURE FOR MORMON FEMINSM? - speakers: Sarah R Allred, Stacy Burton, Jayne Clifford, Margaret Toscano, Cherie Woodworth

SL99313, WAS JESUS A FEMINIST? - speakers: Kent E Robson, Todd M Compton

SL99331, THE EARTH AS SACRED GROUND - speakers: Larry Stammer, Eric L Jones

SL99337, WHAT NEXT? Mormon Women in the Twenty-First Century - speakers: Christine M Durham, Jill Remington, Kathy Wilson

1997 Salt Lake Symposium FREE SESSIONS

SL97165, Sarah and Her Sisters Are Alive and Well In Non-Mormon Bookstores - speakers: Molly Bennion

1993 Salt Lake Sympoium FREE SESSIONS

SL93225, If Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood since 1943--Why aren't They Using It? - All particpants: Linda King Newell, D Michael Quinn, Margaret Merrill Toscano, Maxine Hanks.

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