In response to the deafening demand to know what I’ll be teaching during Winter Semester 2015, starting in January, here are the three classes (apart from any possible individual “directed reading” courses that might arise) that I’ll be offering:   IHum 242 (Interdisciplinary Humanities) — Introduction to the Humanities of Islam — TTh — 12:05-1:20 PM Arabic 425R — Classical Arabic Texts — TTh — 3:00-3:50 PM — focusing on the Qur’an in Arabic MESA 250 — Middle… Read more

    I’ve known several people who’ve had an experience much like that of Alma and Amulek in today’s reading, Alma 8.   I’ve known one or two who tell of having been accepted into a house while serving as missionaries because someone had seen them in a dream or a vision.   And I’ve known at least one other who had such a dream or vision.   Remarkable stories, these, demonstrating — whatever one thinks of the Book of… Read more

    Posted from Orlando, Florida     Read more

    Today’s reading, Alma 7, features the prophecy that the Savior will be “born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers” (7:10).   Generations of anti-Mormons have made merry over this obvious error; anybody familiar with Christmas carols knows that Jesus was born in the “little town of Bethlehem,” not in Jerusalem.   Here’s a little paper that William Hamblin, John Gee, and I wrote on that topic quite a number of years ago:  … Read more

    “Far better it is for you to say: ‘I am a sinner,’ than to say: ‘I have no need of religion.’ The empty can be filled, but the self-intoxicated have no room for God.”  (Fulton J. Sheen)   Posted from Orlando, Florida     Read more

    “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures. .  .  If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the Universe was created for man to live in.” John A. O’Keefe (d. 2000), NASA planetary scientist Posted from Orlando, Florida Read more

    For a project that I’m hoping to launch in the next couple of weeks or so, I’m trying to put together a small list of historically-significant Muslims, past or contemporary, who could serve as acceptable role models for believers wanting to live Islam sincerely in modern pluralistic societies.   Does that make sense?  They don’t have to be perfect — who is? — but I’m looking for people who seem to exemplify love, kindness, openness, and tolerance while, at the… Read more

    Today’s biweekly Hamblin-Peterson column has appeared in the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865617615/Who-were-the-wise-men.html   It’s seasonally appropriate.   Posted from Orlando, Florida     Read more

    A really interesting article, in a secular magazine, by a Roman Catholic commentator:   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/394510/mormon-advantage-maggie-gallagher   Be warned, though:  As a friend observed, this article really sent the haters into a frenzy.  Newspaper and magazine comments sections are rarely worth reading, and this is no exception to the general rule.   Posted from Orlando, Florida     Read more

    A powerful rendition of a gorgeous piece of Christmas music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrLoWt2tfqg   Thanks to Doug Ealy for calling this to my notice.  And then to my wife, for doing that again.   And, of course, as the speaker in the video suggests, watch this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3514050079&feature=iv&src_vid=PrLoWt2tfqg&v=uzjFEMmM0Xs   Posted from Orlando, Florida     Read more

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