How Big Is the Mormon Tent? Toward a New Understanding of What It Means To Be “Mormon” How Big Is the Mormon Tent? Toward a New Understanding of What It Means To Be “Mormon” What is in a name? . . .Apparently a lot! As recent interviews and official announcements have indicated, as the Church sets sail on its twenty-first century mission, it is signaling that it hopes to lead in determining who is and is not “Mormon” as well as which doctrines and practices from its past it will take into the future. This is a moment at the crossroads. As the Church grows into a truly global religion, the Mormon tent will need to broaden to accommodate members and spiritual styles from different cultures. At the same time, it is moving in a direction that seems to be more restrictive, that strives to project an image of uniformity, that takes pains to define and exclude heresy. This panel discussion will wrestle with these issues, especially focusing on possible ways to re-envision what it means to be “Mormon” that honor the Church’s rich and varied past and present, as well as what would be appropriate for the future. Our panelists represent four ways people normally define themselves as Mormon: mainstream Mormon, liberal or cultural Mormon, fundamentalist Mormon, and excommunicated but believing Mormon. Each will first briefly explain their position and claims to be a legitimate member of the Mormon community. Then, through comments and interactions with Jan Shipps and Armand Mauss, participants will explore the possibilities of finding a fifth way: Can a new definition of what it means to be Mormon emerge? We welcome audience contributions! Moderator: Mark Thomas Panelists: Jan Shipps, Armand Mauss, Bill Call, Martin Tanner, Anne Wilde, and Levi Peterson. Time: Thursday, August 9, 2001, at 8:00 PM.
Martin Tanner, William Call, Levi Peterson, Anne Wilde, Armand Mauss, Jan Shipps