A brief report from Logan


Near the campus of Utah State University:
The Logan Utah Temple
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Click to enlarge)


My wife and I spent essentially the entire day  on the campus of Utah State University, up in Logan, attending today’s conference of the Academy for Temple Studies.


It was a stimulating meeting.  Margaret Barker led off with a paper on “The Woman Clothed with the Sun in the Book of Revelation.”  She was followed by William Dever, who, with an abundance of images, summarized the archaeological evidence for a feminine deity in pre-exilic Israel.


After lunch and after a brief message from Dr. Laurence Hemming, who could not, in the end, make it to the conference from England this year, John Thompson, who is finishing a Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered a paper, accompanied by marvelous slides, on “The Lady at the Horizon: Egyptian Tree-Goddess Iconography and Sacred Trees in Israelite Scripture and Temple Theology.”


There followed interesting Latter-day Saint reflections on the divine feminine from Alyson von Feldt and Valerie Hudson, along with a panel discussion involving all of the speakers.


My wife and I then enjoyed a dinner with several friends — including two other members of the board of editors of The Interpreter Foundation — at the Bluebird Restaurant there in Logan, and drove home.


The conference discussions left me still feeling quite satisfied, quite satisfied indeed, with my paper on “Nephi and His Asherah.”  (I would provide a link to its two versions on the Maxwell Institute’s webpage, but that webpage seems to be a bit disorganized at the moment,)



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  • utex

    Everyone should read “Nephi and his Ashera” when they have a chance. Fascinating.

  • RaymondSwenson

    It has seemed to me that the Catholic theosis of Mary has been aiming toward creating a feminine deity within the Christian framework, from her immaculate conception to her bodily assumption into heaven, as well as the denial of her having children with Joseph, despite the Gospels, Acts, Paul, and James referring to the brothers and sisters of Jesus. So have any Catholic theologians responded to this research on feminine divinity in the Old and New Testaments?