The Danger of the [Bracket]

The [bracket] has been the focus of some rather heated debates in the study of religion in recent years, and poses a particular challenge for Latter-day Saints. This debate was typified in a Harvard Divinity Bulletin exchange between Stephen Prothero of Boston University and Robert Orsi (et al.) who was then at Harvard, but has now moved to Northwestern. Prothero criticized Orsi for his methodological choice to "bracket" the truth claims of the religions he studied. He explains, "I have come … [Read more...]

A Religious Studies Major at BYU Pt. I

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

Experience or Doctrine?

One of the recent debates in LDS intellectual circles has been whether or not Mormonism is about orthodoxy or orthopraxy. As far as I can remember, this debated heated up after Jim Faulconer's 2002 Yale conference presentation on this topic. This debate has more or less died down, largely because people realized that it was a false dichotomy between the two options, and everyone recognized that it was a little bit of both. Today's LDS Newsroom, however, seems to intervene in this debate with … [Read more...]

The Terrible 90’s for Mormon Scholarship

I suspect that sometime in the next few decades, historians will look back on the 1990's as the worst period for Mormon studies. In fact, they may even say that it was so bad that it destroyed an entire generation of young Mormon scholars. This decade may have even set Mormon studies back a few decades from its entry into mainstream academic circles, erasing the progress made in the 1970's and early 1980's. I think that there were several factors, but our biggest enemy was definitely … [Read more...]

A Special Day at FPR (Updated)

Today we mark two important milestones at FPR. First, May 9th, 2008 is the third anniversary of our creation. Second, this composition is the 500th post. In light of this, we thought it proper to do something a bit special to mark the occasion.Our founder, the illustrious John C., has posed a question and invited the rest of us to respond in 150 words or less. His response leads the roll; we follow in no specific order.You may note that our number is not quite complete. We find … [Read more...]

Krister Stendahl has died

The news has already started to make the rounds. Esteemed New Testament professor and former Dean of Harvard Divinity School has passed away this morning after a long bout with cancer. This post cannot possibly substitute for an official obituary, so I shall not attempt the task. I would just like a note a few highlights on his relationship with Mormons.Stendahl had been a pioneer on interfaith dialogue and had been a long-time defender of the Mormons. Having established relationships with … [Read more...]

More Resources!

A few more useful things for Bible and ANE study have appeared up recently, and are worthy of notice. … [Read more...]

Armaund Mauss Interview

No, not here. Over here.  Good stuff, go read it. (T&S had a similar interview in 2004, part one, part two.)"For Mormons, living in a certain way is more important than believing in a certain way. We can infer much more about what or who a person is from what he does than from what he believes (or claims to believe) ""Speaking differently to different audiences does not necessarily imply contradiction. We do it all the time. When we talk among our friends about what goes on in our … [Read more...]