“Bellingham girl receives care package from Brigham Young University”

    A heart-breaking, heart-warming story from the Pacific Northwest:   http://kpug1170.com/news/007700-bellingham-girl-recieves-care-package-from-brigham-young-university/   Posted from Bergen, Norway     [Read more…]

Women running a “fatwa hotline” in the Gulf

    I thought this article quite interesting — and neatly complementary to this recent column.   Posted from Bergen, Norway     [Read more…]

“Responding religiously to the challenge of human evil”

    Today, we caught a ride around the harbor of Bergen with a friendly and loquacious Norwegian on his motorized sailboat.  One of the things he pointed out to us was a very large and genuinely ugly building that was built by the Nazis when Bergen was the headquarters of the German U-boat fleet [Read More…]

“Newsmax’s Fifty Most Influential Mormons in America”

    One can always quibble with such lists — the most obvious oddity about this one is its failure to include even a single member of the First Presidency or the Council of the Twelve, and one wants to know “Influential how? Upon whom? Upon what?” — but they always make for interesting reading: [Read More…]

“‘Love Wins,’ and Charity Loses”

    Ralph Hancock’s remarks at the 2016 FairMormon conference in Provo, delivered earlier this month, stirred up a bit of controversy.  As always, though, his is an important, thoughtful voice that merits close attention:   http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2016-fairmormon-conference/love-wins-charity-loses   He doesn’t do philosophy in slogans or soundbites.   Posted from Bergen, Norway     [Read more…]

Will consciousness remain a mystery to science?

    Here’s a scientist who believes that (mortal) humans will never understand consciousness:   http://wavefunction.fieldofscience.com/2016/08/physicist-ed-witten-on-consciousness-i.html   This is something like the position held by the philosopher Colin McGinn, which is often called “mysterianism.”   I suspect that they’re right.   And I think it may be because consciousness is primary, basic, irreducible, and, accordingly, not [Read More…]

“Race and the Priesthood”

    Marvin Perkins’s remarks at the 2016 FairMormon gathering in Sweden are up, and well worth a listen.   Incidentally, my admiration for faithful black members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prior to 1978 is profound.  I’m not at all confident that I would have, could have, remained active and [Read More…]

Fall term is about to begin at BYU

    Some are always curious to know what I’ll be teaching, so here’s the list:   Arabic 362 — medieval Arabic literature in translation (I’ll be concentrating on the Qur’an) Integrated Humanities 242 — an introduction to the culture and civilization of Islam Middle East Studies (Arabic) 250 — an introduction to the religion [Read More…]

On fairness in judging others

    “Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.” Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)    Posted from Stardalen, Norway     [Read more…]

“‘Daughters of Christ’: Finding Language to Talk about Women and Priesthood”

    The audience at the 2016 FairMormon conference earlier this month gave this presentation, by Kathryn Shirts, one of the most enthusiastic ovations of the two-day meeting:   http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2016-fairmormon-conference/daughters-christ   Posted from Stardalen, Norway     [Read more…]