Unbridling Mormon Illustration: “From the Dust” – 2 of 2

In yesterday's post, I discussed the relationship  between Mormon illustration and historical accuracy, specifying that I'd prefer to see a efflorescence of approaches in the Mormon illustrative tradition. To exhibit the analytical richness artistic diversity can encourage, I present From the Dust, a graphic novel project based on the Book of Mormon. There’s a major difference, however, from all previous illustrations of the Book of Mormon: in From the Dust there are no hu … [Read more...]

Mormon Illustration and the Burden of History – 1 of 2

In his book Miracles, C.S. Lewis dwells for a peculiarly long time on the Ascension of Christ. Namely, he muses on the how onlookers perceived and today’s Christians imagine the event.Why the sustained attention to this aspect of this moment? For one, Lewis is bound to the Neo-Platonic Christian theology that divorces the spiritual from the material, and sets the former above the latter on the scale of truth and value; however, he faces an account wherein Christ’s Ascension is not a strictly … [Read more...]

The Fundamental Optimism of Apocalypse

Today, we have a guest post from my friend Cameron Neilsen. Please note that this was written before November 8.Apocalypticism is back. While the Bible-thumping, seven-seals-interpreting strain has kept a low profile compared to the 1970’s and 80’s, it has joined with secular concerns over environmental threats and economic instability to produce an entire subculture of “preppers,” ZeroHedge readers, and r/collapse Redditors. Pundits are all too apt to dismiss these groups as paranoid, supers … [Read more...]

Hell and Zion: A Review of “Undertale”

 Note: Undertale is a game best experienced without spoilers; I include some details below, however, in an attempt to convince the reluctant among you that it’s worth your time.In the game Undertale, your adventure begins when you fall into the underworld—a sort of hell that turns out to be quite Mormon. [1] That is to say: it is not the typical Christian hell of punishment and torment, fire and brimstone. The underground’s inhabitants, monsters banished and trapped there by huma … [Read more...]

Review: The Mormon Jesus

Perhaps my devotional life’s greatest flaw is that I forget about Jesus. Intellectually, of course, I know that I cannot ignore the Savior when speaking about theology, but much of the time my musings tend to amble away toward questions of divine-human ontology, creation, exaltation, and eternal family relationships instead.Therefore, I was curious what John Turner would have to say in his The Mormon Jesus, published by Harvard University Press last month. Through his Brigham Young: Pioneer P … [Read more...]

Ritual and Renewal in Zootopia

If you haven’t seen Zootopia, go. Despite the fact that it is a Disney animated feature, it deals with some pertinent and broadly applicable social issues with nearly unmatched thoughtfulness. And the thoughtfulness isn’t accidental--the team that made the movie put a lot of effort into crafting it. It’s well worth your time and, as the post below is mostly about the ending of the film, I don’t want to spoil it for you.Furthermore, the use of animals here isn't juvenile, a sort of cutesy Noah … [Read more...]

Ammon, before Trump

On social media I passed along a quip that, while Donald Trump is applying to be president with no political experience, listing for even menial entry-level positions include years of experience as prerequisites.Several minutes later, someone I know--a young, high school-educated, lower-class, white male--privately messaged me the following: Give it a rest, loser. Trump’s going to be President and you can’t stop him. ^^ He will send my RACIST co-workers [context note: they are non-white] bac … [Read more...]

Emergent Theology: Steven Peck’s “Evolving Faith”

Drawing dragons got me seriously thinking about evolution for the first time.My earlier attempts at drawing had almost all been tracing, but I found none of the images of dragons I found satisfactory. What was more unfortunate was that dragons didn’t exist (spoiler), so I had no reference photos. Consequently, I had to break them down into their component parts. For the first time in my life, I found myself studying bones and muscles.I not only studied how my own muscles expanded and … [Read more...]