A bit more from Unamuno

    “If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing.” Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)   Posted from the Mediterranean Sea     [Read more…]

“A Newly Discovered Manuscript and Its Lesson on Islam”

    My sense is that he may have exaggerated the importance of the Fath al-Bari just a bit.  Nevertheless, Joel Blecher’s fundamental point remains both sound and important:   https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/islam-manuscript-discovery-istanbul/531699/   In particular, I often encounter critics of Islam who think that, by quoting a cherry-picked passage or two from the Qur’an — usually [Read More…]

“When not to decide is also a decision”

    Larded with both brazen dishonesty and astonishingly mean-spirited vitriol — I’m reliably informed that these are the signature characteristics of most if not all my writing — my most recent weekly column has appeared in the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683704/When-not-to-decide-is-also-a-decision.html   Posted from the Mediterranean Sea     [Read more…]

“The Divine Council”

    Available through the website of the Interpreter Foundation:  The  ubiquitous Stephen Smoot is interviewed (for roughly forty minutes) on a topic near and dear to my heart:   LDS Perspectives Podcast: Stephen O. Smoot, “The Divine Council.”   I wrote a bit about the subject in my essay “‘Ye Are Gods’: Psalm 82 and [Read More…]

“What Happens to Wolves When They’re Raised Like Dogs?”

    A really interesting scientific experiment in Hungary:   https://gizmodo.com/what-happens-to-wolves-when-theyre-raised-like-dogs-1796458238   Posted from just off the northern coast of Sicily     [Read more…]

“Poll shows a dramatic generational divide in white evangelical attitudes on gay marriage”

    This should come as no great surprise:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/06/27/there-is-now-a-dramatic-generational-divide-over-white-evangelical-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.e1b669be8b01   What to take away from it?   One obvious lesson concerns the power of law as a social tutor:  White attitudes toward blacks and segregation and related matters changed dramatically — and, manifestly, for the good — in the wake of certain Supreme [Read More…]

Passing the coast of Sicily

    Today has been a sea day, which I’ve really enjoyed.  I love being on the ocean.  (Alas, though, and despite all my handwashing, I’ve caught a cold, which somewhat mitigates the pleasure.)   I lectured to our Cruise Lady group on the significance of the Book of Mormon today, and on some of [Read More…]

Bertrand Russell on Frederick II of Sicily (1194-1250)

    “Culturally, however, Sicily had great advantages. Muslim, Byzantine, Italian, and German civilization met and mingled there as nowhere else. Greek and Arabic were still living languages in Sicily. Frederick learnt to speak six languages fluently, and in all six he was witty. He was at home in Arabian philosophy, and had friendly relations [Read More…]

“Magical Thinking about Minimum Wages”

    I’ve sometimes thought that a course in basic economics ought to be required for graduation from American high schools.  This article does nothing to convince me that it wouldn’t be a good idea:   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449025/seattle-minimum-wage-hike-hurts-low-wage-workers-study-obvious-economic-result-left   Posted from just north of Sicily     [Read more…]

“Christian-style weddings remain popular in Japan”

    This element of contemporary Japanese culture has, I confess, always struck me as more than a little bit strange:   Christian-style weddings remain popular in Japan, but allure is more about optics than religion   Posted from off the northern coast of Sicily     [Read more…]