What is Mormon Studies?

Seriously. This is a real question. We've been so busy patting ourselves on the back about Claremont, USU, and Wyoming, that I have rarely heard anything interesting about what the category of Mormon Studies consists of (the Yale grad student conference was an exception to this, from what I understand). At T&S, Nate Oman reflects on whether or not to include his research on Mormonism as part of his Letter to the Dean. The response (so far) is that Catholic Studies and Islamic Studies … [Read more...]

The Talpiyot Tomb of Jesus: A Sober Assessment

Here's a link to an article on the Talpiyot tomb written by Jodi Magness of UNC-Chapel Hill and located on the Society of Biblical Literature website.  As you can guess from the title, her contribution is a sober assessment of the serious deficiencies of the Cameron production and its associated sensationalism.While you're there, feel free to poke around the SBL site...  … [Read more...]

The Intellectually Ousted

I have been thinking a lot lately about ex-Mos. In so doing, I imagine what their excommunications are like, or what their mindset was like when they petitioned to have their 'records removed.' I even know some ex-Mos; some who have taken the long way back into membership, others who have left the church, and others who have left the church but cannot leave it alone (There was a great post at BCC over this, but I can't find the link). Instead of concentrating on the ex-Mo himself, I have been … [Read more...]

Polygamy in the Book of Mormon

It struck me the other day that the one place in the Book of Mormon where polygamy is addressed is unabashedly opposed to polygamy. This is, of course, Jacob chapter 2 (and a little of chapter 3). However, it may surprise you to learn why Jacob was so opposed to polygamy. … [Read more...]

A tentative list of general LDS biases in approaches to the Bible

Scholars have a tendency to operate on shorthand and stereotype whenever they feel like they can get away with it. It is a somewhat ironic tendency, in that they general also insist on a more detailed and topic-specific discussion if it is something that they care about.  Of such are life's paradoxes, no?  (That one's for you, Frank) … [Read more...]

The Incoherence of the Flood

It's been too long since I posted anything controversial so I guess I better start living up to my villain namesake. Actually, this discussion has probably already been done to death on the 'nacle so feel free to ignore this post. It's just that it's one of my favorite heresies and never fails to stir up some conversation.I'm a moderate Mormon, which means that I meet a lot of fellow LDS that think that I'm a flaming liberal because I'm not exceptionally conservative like they are. Trust me, … [Read more...]

Mormon Hermeneutics: A Modest Proposal

I have recently argued that Mormon biblical studies needs to be more critical of its hermeneutical stance rather than emphasize exegetical proof-texting if it is to be successful in the wider academy. I think that success is measured by overall interest by outsiders and the amount of interest it generates in me :). I have also suggested a set of models (feminist and AfAm) that have gained a great deal of respect from many scholars, which blend the skills developed by modern historical-critical … [Read more...]

Sacrament Meeting Talk- Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus

I've been assigned to speak to my relatively new ward on Easter Sunday about the crucifixion and resurrection. The Bishop thoughtfully assigned me about two months ahead of time, with the side comment "I hear you're quite the scriptorian." I'm not sure what he's expecting, but more importantly, what do I deliver? Clearly, something having to do with atonement, crucifixion and resurrection, but that's no small topic. I've had about 15 different ideas, and I've just been jotting down thoughts, … [Read more...]


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