Forgetting Morality

I'm sure we're all very familiar with the advice that Pres. Hinkley's father gave to him shortly after Pres. Hinkley arrived in England on his mission and was feeling a little down and out: "Forget yourself and get to work!". The notion of "forgetting" is rarely used in a positive sense in LDS discourse (and probably in Christian or even Western discourse in general). Indeed we are admonished to "remember" certain things such as the covenants we made when we were baptized, and to pay … [Read more...]

Compartmentalizing the Bracket and the Problem of Creep

A little while ago TT wrote about a debate in the field of Religious Studies concerning the role of personal judgment in scholarship. "Bracketing" one's judgment, meant withholding a pronouncement of "superstitious", "backward", or even "good or bad" on the people or objects one studies. The scholar's role in this regard is to provide an accurate and sympathetic account of religious attitudes and actions. S/he attempts to see the world from the place of an other, and understand them in their own … [Read more...]

A Religious Studies Major at BYU–Pt. III

In our two previous posts we discussed the curriculum as well as what to cover in the theory and introductory courses for our new major. In this post I'd like to raise the issue of how the "areas of emphasis" should be structured and who/where we could draw from in creating classes from these areas. Areas of emphasis (or areas of study--AoS) are organized differently depending on the organizing committee's perception of "religious studies" as well as the school's strengths. Below are three o … [Read more...]

A Religious Studies Major at BYU Pt. II

In Pt I we looked at developing a curriculum and focused on "core classes". That discussion is still on-going. This post will examine the develoment of an Introduction to Religious Studies course (which will be part of the core classes), and a required theories course which majors will take during the Sophomore (and perhaps Junior) year. The issue of language requirements was also raised so let's toss that into the mix here. … [Read more...]

A Religious Studies Major at BYU Pt. I

Okay, I know it will probably never happen, but... … [Read more...]

Toss the Milk and Lose the Meat

I think most of the people that frequent the Bloggernacle believe that classes such as Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society fall short as far as how engaging they could be. This has been discussed in numerous places. Most recently at BCC; and earlier here at FPR under the rubric of "Consequentialism". "Engaging" of course means different things to different people, but it often is expressed along with the idiom of "milk before meat". I want to argue in this thread that employing the "milk … [Read more...]

EQ–Ethical Intelligence

Are we all born with the same amount of ethical intelligence? I would imagine that most people believe that "intelligence" or IQ is not something all people are born with equal amounts of (although an interesting argument anyone is welcome to take up would be that "IQ" is a culturally bound notion and most people are born with equal amounts of "intelligence"). While we may be able to increase our IQ to a certain extent, it seems (at least to me) that there are always people who are more in … [Read more...]

Church Education as Consequentialism

For a long time I've felt a disconnect between the concept of "education" employed by programs such as the Church Educational System, and "education" in the context school learning (be it post-high or not). I think I recently have been able to put more of a finger on why I've felt this way. Before going further I should probably admit that this may reflect more of my own attitudes and experience with "education" both within and without the church, than an "objective" description of the s … [Read more...]