FAIR and “These Are Our Sisters”

We've written quite a bit about apologetics in the past couple of years. Some of it has been quite critical, and some of it constructive.FAIR is one of the prominent LDS apologetic organizations, and it has occassionally been the object of our criticism. The recent post on FAIR's blog, "These Are Our Sisters," however, deserves further attention; and a whole lot of praise. … [Read more...]

Two LDS Perspectives on Religious Studies (A Parody)

Two LDS scholars have recently voiced their thoughts on the academic study of religion. One can be found here; the other can be found on pages 136-145 of the recent issue of the Religious Educator (14.3, 2013). I’ve brought these two pieces into dialogue for the readers of FPR.NOTE: I have taken things out of context, but I have not changed any of the words except as marked by parentheses.Enjoy! … [Read more...]

A Mormon’s Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the courage to question my leaders;the humility to accept their answers;and the prudence to know when courage becomes arrogance, and humility becomes complaisance. … [Read more...]

Doubt and the Dangers of Reading Alone

A lot has already been said about the Hans Mattsson article in the NYT. One issue, however, that I feel needs further exploration is how crises of faith might be approached from a more therapeutic or pastoral angle. Below are some excerpts from a sacrament talk I delivered at the beginning of this year. I hope it might contribute to the recent discussions of doubt and faith crises in Mormonism.This invitation to speak coincided with a presentation I attended on Islam. The presenter studied … [Read more...]

The Value of an Outsider’s Perspective

LDSHymns

Several years ago I was asked to accompany an investigator to church.We showed up a few minutes early and sat in the chapel. On the way to church, this investigator explained that he had never been to a Christian service before. He seemed quite eager to take in the experience.After I briefly introduced what takes place in a sacrament meeting service, we sat quietly in the chapel. Several moments went by as he looked around, and then asked, "What does that mean?" He was pointing to the organ p … [Read more...]

Breaking the Ivory Ceiling

As a LDS studying religion, it's not uncommon to hear the claim that Mormons have a hard time getting hired in religious studies departments; especially if they study Mormonism.Before 6 or so years ago there were 3 LDSs I am aware of that had a tenured (or tenure track) position in a religious studies (or theology) department:* … [Read more...]

Wheat and Tares Apologetics

Apologetics has obviously been on my mind recently. In previous posts I discussed how certain kinds of apologetics might be pursued at places such as BYU. Indeed, I believe that religious institutions such as BYU should produce apologetics in the sense of scholarship that explains, explores, and defends the truth claims of Mormonism. I also believe that this scholarship should be fit for a university, meaning that it should largely meet the criteria of scholarship within the broader academic com … [Read more...]

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...]


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