Apologists at War: Religious Studies is Not the Enemy

The Maxwell Institute's removal of Daniel Peterson as editor of the Mormon Studies Review continues to raise the issue of the appropriateness of apologetics at institutions such as BYU (for a more recent discussion, see here)--on the one hand BYU has a mission to "build the kingdom" so to speak, and on the other hand BYU is working to establish a legitimate academic presence in fields such as religious studies. There are some that see these two goals as largely exclusive of each other. This … [Read more...]

Regional AAR Call for Papers

PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION AAR/SBL/ASOR Regional Meeting Seattle University Seattle, Washington May 3-5, 2013 SPECIAL TOPICS: MORMON STUDIES Description of the goals and rationale This special topic of Mormon Studies promotes the exploration of a wide range of topics relating to Mormonism. This section seeks to provide scholarly inquiry into Mormon history, culture, belief and practice, theology, scripture, and the role of Mormonism in contemporary politics. This section encourages the … [Read more...]

Apologetics in the Academy

In line with Daniel Peterson’s recent comments, I see significant points of congruence between apologetics and religious studies. I also see no reason why the same institution cannot pursue both endeavors—particularly a private religious institution such as BYU. I do think, however, that much of the apologetics advocated by Peterson is better off done at another venue (congratulations to those involved with the new Interpreter project). At the same time, a more appropriate kind of … [Read more...]

A Reponse to Hamblin on Mormon Studies

A few days ago William Hamblin posted his views on the issue of Mormon studies here. I believe his views are flawed in several respects. Any disagreement, however, is always cast against a backdrop of larger agreements. As such, I do not want to construe my criticisms such that it seems we do not largely agree on a few important issues. … [Read more...]

Why I Laud the Maxwell Institute’s Direction

I have nothing against Daniel Peterson, and I'm not a fan of John Dehlin. I'm not interested in the so-called "hit piece" that the Mormon Studies Review was supposed to publish, nor do I really care about who leaked what Maxwell Institute emails (for a chronology of sorts, see here). However, I am quite embarrassed by this whole event, and these feelings of embarrassment bring to the fore long-standing feelings of embarrassment that I've had about FARMS and its association with BYU. … [Read more...]

Tips on Applying: Spotlight on the Catholic University of America

This spotlight features Carl Cranney, who did an MA at Yale's Divinity School and is now pursuing a doctorate at the Catholic University of America. Carl is also doing an excellent series at Juvenile Instructor on teaching Mormonism. Thanks, Carl. … [Read more...]

Dear BYU Religious Education (Part 2)

Dear BYU Religious Education, It’s now been over a year since our last correspondence. I’ve had some time to formulate my thoughts a little more constructively. I’d like to speak to you about the hiring process, and how you might adjust it to the mutual benefit of the candidates and yourself. I realize that some of these may be more applicable to one of your departments rather than both; but I hope this provides you some insight from the other side of the table. I also realize that some … [Read more...]

The Trouble with BYU’s Religious Education (Part III)

In the previous posts I described how two methodological problems with Religious Education allowed for the Bott problem, as well as the likely short-term response. In this post I’ll articulate a few thoughts in terms of what I see as a potential, and positive, long-term response to this situation.  … [Read more...]


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