Pseudonyms Rule, Names Drool

Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has put forward an argument that we have been making for years: pseudonyms are better for online communication.  The Harvard Magazine article discusses the argument in more depth, but basically suggests that anonymity and pseudonymity are two different things.According to her new book, she, "contends that well-managed pseudonyms can strengthen online communities, an idea that contradicts the conventional wisdom tha … [Read more...]

Announcement: THE FIFTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE

University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA February 27-28, 2015The Faith and Knowledge Conference was established in 2007 to bring together LDS graduate students in religious studies and related disciplines in order to explore the interactions between religious faith and scholarship. During the past four conferences, students have shared their experiences in the church and the academy and the new ideas that have emerged as a result. Papers and conversations provided thought-provoking … [Read more...]

What Otterson Got Right: “We don’t know all the reasons”

There is a lot to like about Michael Otterson’s recent letter.  It is a cause for hope that the issue of women in the church is being taken seriously.  It is honest, heartfelt, transparent, and reaches out directly to a community who often wonders if anyone cares at all.  I am grateful for this gesture and am pleased to see that he is an active part of the conversation.There are lots of things to critique about the letter too, many of which have happened in other blog posts and comments.  The … [Read more...]

What is Scripture, for reals?

Is scripture only scripture if it is a inerrant record of what really happened?There are some people who believe that the only difference between the Greek myths (as an example) and the Bible is that Samson really killed a lion with his hands, but Hercules did not; that God really sired Jesus, and Zeus did not really sire his mortal children; that ravens really fed Elijah, but Telephus was not suckled by a deer; that Jesus really turned water into wine, but Dionysus did not; and that … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Mormons Talking About Jews

This post comes from guest contributor Orson.LDS scholars can sometimes be quite disparaging when discussing Judaism. It’s not intentional. Mormons by and large love the Jewish people (even if we often fail to properly understand them). Yet not withstanding this generally positive sentiment, Mormon scholars have a long history of making derogatory anti-Semitic remarks. I feel a need to point this out, not with a desire to embarrass specific individuals, for certainly, when it comes to re … [Read more...]

Pseudonyms and the Ad Hominem

Let me share my observations about being a pseudonymous Mormon blogger for over a decade.  There is a common belief that bloggers who “hide” behind a pseudonym will abuse that position to do bad things.  My experience, however, has not born this out.  Instead, the pseudonymous blogger is often the target of rude treatment that is not only socially acceptable but even cheered on by some. … [Read more...]

Challenging Church Leadership

The following is a reprint of a post originally written in Oct 2008.  Something reminded me of it and I decided to share it again.Paul’s bitter dispute with Peter and James poses a problem for thinking about LDS notions of authority because it puts into tension church authority and moral and doctrinal issues. When true doctrine and church leadership are in conflict, how are we to make a choice between them? When our sense of what is moral conflicts with our leaders’ sense of what is moral, wh … [Read more...]

I am the newest BYU Prof!

Many of my close friends and family already know this, so it won’t be a surprise to them, but I am still giddy to announce that I have accepted a job at BYU Religious Education starting in Fall 2014.  Hiring decisions were recently made public, so I can finally share the good news with our readers.  My life-partner and I will be moving to Orem this July, so let us know where we can find a supportive ward!I would like to share a bit of the back story about how all of this came to be.  Offi … [Read more...]


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