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 IslamMiddle East Studies (Arabic) 250 -- an introduction to the religion of IslamArabic 490R -- directed readings in Arabic  Posted from Stardalen, Norway  … [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...]

“Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth? No Need to Grieve Over Another Case of Alleged Plagiarism in the Book of Mormon”

  The inimitable Jeff Lindsay: http://mormanity.blogspot.no/2016/08/weeping-wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth.html  Posted from Stardalen, Norway    … [Read More...]

“King Noah and Maya Kingship”

  A short but interesting little piece: http://www.studioetquoquefide.com/2016/08/king-noah-and-maya-kingship.html#more  Posted from Stardalen, Norway    … [Read More...]

“How Vikings Could Get Away with Murder”

  It seems quite appropriate, given where I'm writing, to post an article such as this. http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2016/08/22/how_vikings_could_get_away_with_murder_109733.html My ancestors were a gallant lot. Incidentally . . .  I once thought, being Norwegian, Danish, English, and Scottish, that I was probably of 50% Scandinavian (and thus, more or less, of 50% Viking) ancestry.  I now think it possible that my Viking b … [Read More...]

“Why the Public Should Mistrust Science”

  An interesting perspective on the question: http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2016/08/the_public_should_mistrust_science.html  Posted from Stardalen, Norway    … [Read More...]

“Will the Mormon Church’s Support for Muslim Immigration Block Trump’s Victory?”

  Breitbart News, once (before Andrew Breitbart's sudden, premature, and very unfortunate death) an interesting place for activist conservative journalism of a rather aggressive sort, has long since become a rigidly doctrinaire and often quite unpleasant Ministry of Propaganda for hardcore Trumpulism. Perhaps beginning to sense that Mr. Donald J. Trump, the Dear Leader of Trumpulism, is currently headed for a defeat of historic, party-realigning proportions in … [Read More...]

“More Effective Apologetics”

  The remarks that Grant Hardy delivered at the 2016 FairMormon conference earlier this month are now up online for your reading pleasure: http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2016-fairmormon-conference/more-effective-apologetics I've seen reports on the internet that I was enraged by what Grant said, and that, in concert with many of my colleagues, I'm still seething with almost ungovernable fury. And it's true that … [Read More...]

Another day in Norway

   We've spent many hours over the past couple of days driving through the soul-nourishing beauty of rural Norway. We stayed last night at Røisheim, in a mountain valley about fifteen minutes from Lom, a rustic inn that apparently began as a post-station in the 1600s.  It's said that Ibsen and Grieg were also (repeat) guests at Røisheim, the buildings of which are all pre-modern. We've passed through unspeakably gorgeous valleys.  We took a … [Read More...]