Review: John F. Haught, “God and the New Atheism”

Title: God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens Author: John F. Haught Publisher: Westminster John Knox Genre: Religion Year: 2008 Pages: 124 ISBN13: 9780664233044 Binding: Paperback Price: 16.95 Responses to the claims of the so-called "new atheism" vary according to the interests of each particular respondent. John F. Haught, Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University is touted as "one of the … [Read more...]

Announcing Rosalynde Welch, Salt and Seed

Rosalynde Welch will be contributing a weekly column to the Mormon Portal, entitled Salt and Seed.  Rosalynde is known around the LDS blogs for her presence at Times&Seasons, but also writes  on interreligious issues for the St Louis Post-Dispatch. She also serves as the managing editor of the Mormon Review, and she steals the occasional afternoon to pursue her own research agendas in early modern literature and Mormon literature and philosophy. She holds degrees in English literature … [Read more...]

Remembering William Jennings Bryan

I’ve been watching the PBS television series “God in America” on Apple TV. It’s a history of religion in America told in six one-hour segments, beginning with the Massachusetts Bay colony and ending with Obama. If you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend it highly – it’s very well done and I learned a lot. One of the segments devotes some time to William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes Trial. I have a lot of respect for William Jennings Bryan, in spite of the fact that he was on the … [Read more...]

Announcing Joanna Brooks and other columnists

Joanna Brooks has brought Ask Mormon Girl to Patheos as the first column on the Mormon Portal. Joanna is an English professor at  San Diego State, and we're happy to welcome her and her perspectives. (More at MormonScholarsTestify) If you have a question for the Ask Mormon Girl column, send it to askmormongirlATgmailDOTcom We'll be adding at least two more columnists in the very near future, so check back to see. AMG and the other columns will live just below the rotator on the main Mormon … [Read more...]

Encultured prophets and the firmament: Peter Enns continued

In my last post (and hinted at in the one before that), I raised the idea that prophets tend to share the worldviews and myths of their culture, with myth properly defined as something like "worldview expressed in narrative." Their revelations are by necessity received and framed within that worldview. In other words, prophets in different times and places would understand the world differently, though they may share some revealed knowledge of the Gospel. Put very bluntly, some prophets in the … [Read more...]

First the baby, then marriage

A friend of mine recently told me about some acquaintances of hers that just had their second child, but aren’t married because they don’t feel they can afford to get married. I thought it sounded crazy. If anything’s expensive, it’s having kids! (The babycenter.com calculator tells me it’ll cost over $300,000 to raise each of my kids.) Apparently this phenomenon is common. The 2010 U.S. census results are in, and for the first time there was a question on cohabitation. They … [Read more...]

House Beautiful

I used to be a bit of a neat freak. As a child, when it was time to clean my room, it always took 3 days because I started by reorganizing all the labeled boxes in my closet. I remember one weekend early in my marriage that my parents and siblings came to visit. In preparation for their arrival, I had carefully cleaned and tidied our small apartment. As they arrived, and removed their shoes, there was no good place for the shoes, other than at the doorway. Those shoes piled up and got under my … [Read more...]

Scripture, History and Myth: A Perfect Modern Example from NPR!

We’re way past Genesis at this point, but like the poor, the issue of non-historical scripture will always be among us. Most people know of the genre of "parable" because they’re in the Gospels, but "myth" is very poorly understood and the term carries a lot of negative baggage. You have to be very careful throwing around the term. One simple definition of myth is that myth is worldview in narrative form. That is, it's a way of explaining one’s  conception of how the world works, in … [Read more...]

Balancing tradition with faith and scholarship: a Mormon application of Peter Enns

In my own struggles to balance faith and tradition with scholarship, I find it useful to see how others have done so, particularly when I see close structural parallels between the two traditions. Peter Enns speaks from a Protestant perspective but Protestants aren't the sole source of useful insight. I've enjoyed Jewish perspectives more, explored in fictional narratives like The Chosen and The Promise. The tensions between traditional views and scholarship  that Enns highlights among … [Read more...]

Here’s A Secret: Nobody’s Normal

An interesting thing has happened since I launched the Mormon Women Project at the beginning of 2010: Molly Mormon has disappeared. Completely vanished. At least I can’t find her anymore. … [Read more...]


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