News and blog updates!

My picture, from the Kidron Valley.

It was the last week of the semester, we got sick, and some other distracting things happened this week (see #3). Fortunately, if you missed my updated posts, thanks to #1, you can find my old ones easily.

First, I’ve gone back and tagged a lot of my previous posts, so they can be accessed in groups. That is, scroll down to the bottom of a post, and you’ll see “select category” next to “select month.” Now that I’ve tagged many of my posts, you can see just my posts related to Evolution, or to Gospel Doctrine Resources, or to Genesis, or to Books or to Scripture Study

Second, I’ve been blogging for a long time, at various places, so I’m going to start rerunning old posts on various things. I find them useful, I doubt most people have seen them, and due to repeated technical migrations, some of them have actually disappeared from the web, so I couldn’t even link to them if I wanted to.

Third and more exciting, my wife and I will be moving to the Phoenix/Mesa/Tempe area this fall, where I will work on preparing for my comprehensive exams (American Religious History, Reformation History, History of Science) and writing a dissertation proposal.

Fourth, I have two upcoming events. In June, I’m at the Mormon History Association conference in Boise, ID. My paper is “’Latter-day Saints Accept the Scriptures, But Every Man Must Interpret Them for Himself’ —Recovering David O. McKay’s Views on Genesis and Evolution”. The other two papers in my session are “Darwinism, Evolution, and Latter-day Saint Church Education, 1875-1911” and “‘One of the Most Valuable Books I have Ever Read’: The Influence of William Jennings Bryan on 20th Century Mormon Responses to the Theory of Evolution.”

Then in October, I’m speaking at the Joseph Smith Papers Conference on Translation. There’s no schedule yet, but I know some of the other people, and it should be an interesting conference. My paper, partially derived from part 2 of my book manuscript, is “Translation, Creation, and Revelation: Implications of Textual Differences in the Pearl of Great Price.” I’m looking at those places in the text where Moses reads differently from the KJV, but Abraham matches the KJV. Part of my conclusion is that these changes imply that revelation is not a straight line of upwards progress, but a mediated human-divine dialectic process which sometimes becomes “frozen” as scripture. The implication is that scripture is not necessarily composed of divinely revealed eternal facts, but contains human elements and understandings common to the time. This can account for differences between inspired texts which, according to common assumptions, “should” be identical.

As always, you can help me pay my tuition here. You can get updates by email whenever a post goes up (subscription box on the right) and also follow Benjamin the Scribe on Facebook.

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