How to Start a Culture War

Hold strong opinions about a few issues. The more people that care about the issues, the better. These opinions need not be informed opinions; conviction is the key. (Note, one issue is usually insufficient to start a culture war, but don’t choose too many because then you’ll dilute the message and make it difficult to recruit soldiers.) Use the frame of war to interpret all disagreements over these issues. This includes using some, but preferably all, of the following language: enemy, fight, b … [Read more...]

The Future of Mormonism

As has frequently been noted by a variety of commentators, modern Mormonism seems to be entering what will be a very difficult cultural transition during the 21 century, where one of the defining issues will be whether the church will allow for greater cultural, social, and intellectual diversity among its ranks and still be able to maintain a sense of traditional communal identity or whether conservative forces will enact further retrenchment, thus leading to greater social fragmentation and … [Read more...]

Hamblin’s Misreading

I should begin by noting that if anyone wants to intelligently comment on the latest issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, please read it first. It’s available here (I hope the MI will make the article under discussion available free some time soon).Bill Hamblin has posted a critique of an article by B. Park, which has generated quite a bit of discussion on Dan Peterson’s blog. I’m going to respond to Hamblin here on FPR because Hamblin has refused to post my comments on his blog in … [Read more...]

A Prolegomena to a Reconstruction of the Literary History of 1 Sam 1:1-4:1a: The Main Problems and Issues

[This is the beginning of a longer study about 1 Sam 1:1-4:1a that I'm still working on. Interested in comments, criticisms, or questions. I apologize about the formatting and other vagaries of the presentation resulting from copying and pasting from an original Word document.]From the rise of critical study of the Hebrew Bible, the Samuel narrative has long been a focus of literary and historical investigation. Spurred on by its unforgettable prose stories and the widespread assumption that … [Read more...]

Principles for Dialogue and Mutual Edification

I recently concluded my 8th year as a blogger with FPR (or its earlier affiliate). In reflecting on the various debates and discussions I’ve seen or been involved in during this time, I started thinking about how these discussions modeled good and bad principles of dialogue. In a new year’s resolution of sorts, I’ve tried to identify a few principles of good dialogue. Here’s what I’ve come up with: … [Read more...]

Contextualizing Crises of Faith

It might seem that Latter-day Saints have a corner on the faith-crisis market, especially now that everything and everyone is online.No doubt this is an information age second to none, at least in terms of quantity of info. Still there have been previous information ages, and Mormonism is far from being the oldest let alone the only religion on the planet.Plus faith crises need not be religious. Many can be seen together as a subset of the universal human experience of (feelings of) … [Read more...]

Mormon Theology Seminar Announcement

We are very excited to assist in getting the word out about the second annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology, with the topic of "Christ and Anti-Christ: Reading Jacob 7."  See the link below for more details, but here is a short description of the project: … [Read more...]

LDS Curriculum and the Priestly Hermeneutical Tradition

A guest post from from friend-of-the-blog Silence Dogood.The recently announced changes in CES curriculum represent something much more than what is taught at BYU campuses, institutes, and seminaries. Rather, it is an embodiment of a particular strain of scriptural interpretation that plays a central role in the modern Church.One could argue that Mormonism was founded upon the question of scriptural interpretation. Joseph Smith, upset that the many religions of his day “understood the s … [Read more...]


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