For our Syrian brothers and sisters, this coming Saturday

For our Syrian brothers and sisters

    … [Read more...]

Egypt and the Rule of Law, Not of Men

Anti-Morsi demonstrators in Tahrir Square

  I'm watching the events in Egypt with sadness and concern.  Massive new demonstrations are occurring on Cairo's Tahrir Square, a place that I know extremely well. I'm with them in spirit, if not in physical reality.  I love Egypt. I wasn't even slightly unhappy to see the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime.  In fact, during my last several visits to Egypt prior to his overthrow -- amidst his omnipresent pictures on billboards and the sides of bu … [Read more...]

“SquareTwo” (Fall 2012)

Christmas 2011 at the Washington DC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

   I've just received the following note from my former BYU colleague Valerie Hudson, who now occupies the George H. W. Bush Chair of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Hi, Dan.  The Fall 2012 issue of SquareTwo is now online!  Before I tell you about it, I need to alert you that our RSS-to-email system through the company RSSPect is no longer working.  If you would like automatic emails when a new issue of SquareTwo comes out, p … [Read more...]

Only thirty sharing days until Christmas!

Christmas on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched a new initiative for the Christmas season. You can read an explanation of the initiative here.  It's designed to communicate our belief in Jesus Christ. To be truly successful, it will require the involvement of a large number of members of the Church.  But such involvement has been made as easy and painless as possible. Please get involved!   … [Read more...]

For anybody feeling discouragement, fearing that his or her time has passed

Winter doesn't have the last word

  I rarely if ever suffer from writer's block -- a fact that several of my critics have frankly regretted -- and, despite the major and very disheartening setback of this past summer, I don't think that I'm anywhere near the end of my writing career yet.  (For one thing, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture is doing remarkably well.)  Still, even optimists sometimes have moments of doubt.A few days ago, I ran across a wonderful little piece from Debra Rienstra ex … [Read more...]

An “Interpreter” Tour of Turkey

Istanbul is one of the most glorious cities on the planet, and one of the most historically rich.  And it's the gateway to much of early postbiblical Christian history.

  I believe -- though I'm not absolutely sure -- that there's still room on Bill Hamblin's tour of Istanbul and Turkey. My wife and I were just there in September, following an almost identical itinerary. If I could, I would go again in a heartbeat -- even with Bill.   … [Read more...]

Chicago Nights

Frank Lloyd Wright's lobby in Chicago's Rookery Building in the financial district (the photo doesn't do it justice)

  I thoroughly enjoyed the six nights that my wife and I recently spent in Chicago.  It's a very interesting city.  I had spent surprisingly little time there until a trip a year or two ago on behalf of the College of Humanities at BYU, so this was fun. Much of it, of course, was spent in the convention center at McCormick Place.  I was, after all, there for a major academic conference.  (I had to skip classes a week ago on Thursday, but, other than that, missed no … [Read more...]

“Shaken Faith Syndrome and the Case for Faith”

Week after week after week, thus far without any interruption or pause

  Since its online launch in early August of this year (it having been conceived and founded only about ten days earlier), Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has never missed a Friday.  It has posted something new every single week. And this week, the Thanksgiving holiday notwithstanding, is no exception. Stephen Smoot reviews Michael Ash's valuable book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and … [Read more...]