Colonization, Conformity, and Contribution, Part I

Many posts at FPR of late have had to do with Kent Jackson's description of LDS scholarship. At issue is to what extent Latter-day Saints can (or should) engage in a dialogue with the greater world of academia, and to what extent we should let our faith claims dictate our research and conclusions.This issue has been recently exemplified in a prominent, front-page Daily Universe (BYU's student-run newspaper) article entitled "Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian Papyri Revealed" (Feb 15, 2007), … [Read more...]

Passivity and Practice

handle's recent and excellent post on architecture raises some connected issues that I've been struggling with lately: To what extent should the church reflect local culture, flavor, etc. and to what extent should it be Mormon? I know this is quite broad, and diahman and others have posted on related questions. The one I want to ask is more specific to architectural and temple traditions.Are we more invested when we pay for and design our own meetinghouses? And do we understand the temple … [Read more...]

Sabbath and Sunday

A refreshing post at BCC asked bloggers what they were going to do for New Year's, given that New Year's Eve falls on Sunday. (Refreshing because rather than debate the requirements of Sabbath observance they actually talked about what they were doing.) This got me thinking again about a question that came up in a class on Christian use of the Hebrew Bible.The professor, who is a well-known expert in Judaism and early Christianity, said that Christian application of Sabbath regulations to … [Read more...]

Immanuel = Christ?

This time of year Isaiah gets more airtime than at any other point in the calendar, thanks in no small part to GF Handel. One passage used by Handel is taken ultimately from Isa 7:14: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL, God with us." Careful readers of scripture will note that this is not exactly as Isaiah has it: "God with us" is a gloss explaining the name Immanuel, which gloss appears fully in Matthew 1:23. In fact, as is well known, the … [Read more...]

Interesting Conflicts

In this month's Friend, my wife and I were intrigued by a section toward the end recommending reading for youngsters. It included a nice range of books for children, classified by age groups, such as Eight Cousins and The Royal Bee. We also found two that made us raise our eyebrows (and not because of the footnote stating that "Occasionally, characters who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will drink coffee or tea."). One, Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie MacRae!, is … [Read more...]

Ancient Near Eastern Studies at BYU

On the advice of more experienced bloggers, I'm posting a (very slightly modified) comment I made on diahman's post:I've got to respond to (and disagree with) ben's statement:I would actually put up BYU's new ANES degree (replacing the old NE Studies degree) against any undergrad Biblical studies degree at other schools.I agree in nuce with ben's other posts and the fruitful discussion regarding the creation of the Ancient Near Eastern Studies major. From all I can tell, it's giving BYU … [Read more...]

What to do with BYU Religion

On analogy with a recent post by Clark Goble on M*, and in the spirit of Sweeps, I want to bring up an honest question, without being sarcastic, demeaning, or combative:What is the purpose of Religious Education at BYU? I realize that they define it on their home page, but I specifically want to take a more functional look. Does having a faculty concerned with "preserving the doctrine" fill a role fundamentally different from that of the LDS Institutes? If so, what is that role? If not, why is … [Read more...]


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