The Aspirational Language of Mormonism

This post is a guest submission from Isaac Black.Recent events in Mormondom, including the excommunication of Kate Kelly and the Church's blog posts on controversial topics like the priesthood ban and polygamy, have prompted a higher scrutiny of seemingly basic terms of the religion. What defines apostasy? What precisely is priesthood? Even, what is doctrine? It is my observation that Mormon vocabulary, rather than being strict and legalistic as some of the more textually inclined among us … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on a Recent Excommunication

We recently received this communication from a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous.It’s been a difficult week, but now I'm just sort of irritated all around.I'm irritated with the Church for treating Kate Kelly as an existential threat rather than a nuisance. Kicking her out polarizes the situation, makes everyone wary and fearful of sharing honest opinions (except for those who are confident that the Church can do no wrong), alienates members, scares off investigators, and makes an e … [Read more...]

The 2013 Adjustments to the Book of Mormon: Accuracy Delayed

This post is written by guest contributor, Grant Hardy.It is a weighty responsibility to decide how God’s word should be presented to the world, and the Church takes this charge very, very seriously. The recent adjustments to the official standard works include many welcome corrections to the headings of the Doctrine and Covenants, but otherwise the revisions are quite minimal. As Elder Neil L. Andersen explained, “members should not feel that they need to purchase a new set of scriptures . . … [Read more...]

Masculinity and Mormon Apologetics

We are pleased to have this guest entry by Mrs. Silence Dogood, a friend of the blog.Have y’all heard about the latest squabble amongst apologists and academics?Anyways, the main lesson that has seemed to come out from the most recent spat is the vast and increasing divide between the two fields. Though someone can certainly use scholarly tools in making apologetic arguments, and someone can certainly become too apologetic in their scholarship, the works of the current generation of M … [Read more...]

Survey for Grad Students: Bloggernacle and Mormon Studies

If you are a graduate student and a reader of Mormon themed blogs, this survey is for you! … [Read more...]

Faith and Knowledge Conference Registration Open

The upcoming Faith and Knowledge conference for graduate students in Religious Studies is now accepting participant registration for those not giving papers. The 2011 conference schedule should soon be finalized and made available to those who register. In the past, qualified registrants have been eligible for a free hotel room for the duration of the conference in order to make it easier for graduate students to attend. The $25 registration fee helps pay for the conference expenses. Click … [Read more...]

Tips on Applying to Grad Programs in Religious Studies (Part VI): Funding

The follow post was written by oudenos as part of our continuing series on graduate education.Fall is approaching and applications to Humanities and Religious Studies PhD programs become due as early as the first week of December. Last year FPR posted a series of discussions concerning PhD students’ experiences in various programs at various institutions. This post is an attempt to revisit and revive those discussions for the sake of this year’s crop of applicants. Specifically, I want to t … [Read more...]

Tragedy in Cambridge, MA

This morning at approximately 10:37 AM during the regional Stake Conference broadcast, the fire alarm sounded in the Longfellow Park LDS Chapel in Cambridge, MA.  At first, most thought it was a false alarm, but as people poured onto the street, it was evident that the fire was already serious.  Copious amounts of smoke were pouring from under the eaves and the fire seemed to be mostly in the attic.  It quickly escalated and firemen are still working to put out the flames.The building was co … [Read more...]