Announcing the 2nd Wheatley Summer Seminar

Announcing the 2nd Annual Wheatley 2015:The 2nd Annual Wheatley “Faith Seeking Understanding” summer seminar will run from June 22 through July 10, 2015.  It is being sponsored by the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University and is under the direction of Professor Terryl Givens, Wheatley Fellow and Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond. From the announcement: What are the general contours of Christianity’s efforts to find a marriage of belief and intellec … [Read more...]

Resolutions and Desires

I’m terrible at New Year’s resolutions. I’ve read all read the strategies for proper goal-setting—manageable, concrete tasks, tell a buddy, be accountable, etc., etc. But a missing ingredient I think I’m just beginning to understand is the significance of desire (and not just the cliché “you have to want it for yourself” kind of advice).I think many failed resolutions result not simply from insufficient willpower or poor strategizing, but from not being honest with myself about what the resol … [Read more...]

Missional and Attractional Mormonism

Along with many  other churches in recent years, the leaders and membership of the LDS Church have made a concerted effort to create a more vibrant presence in the social media world. #Sharegoodness, #BecauseofHim,  #DidYouThinkToPray, #LDSConf, Mormon Messages videos, now the Meet the Mormons film— these Twitter and Facebook campaigns, shareable media, and documentaries all have become part and parcel with “hastening the work of salvation,” to quote Elder Bednar’s August address. … [Read more...]

Call for Papers – Faith and Knowledge Conference

LDS graduate students and early career scholars are invited to participate in and attend the 2015 Faith and Knowledge conference on the intersections of religious faith and scholarship. Below is the Call for Papers; more information can also be found at faithandknowledge.org  THE FIFTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA FEBRUARY 27-28, 2015 The Faith and Knowledge Conference was established in 2006 to bring together LDS graduate … [Read more...]

It’s Not About Questions—and it is

In piecing together the sobering events over the last week, one of the most common interpretations I’ve seen is one offered by Dehlin and Kelly themselves and echoed over much of social media: that these disciplinary actions are intended to repress or punish questions and conversations.In the recent Trib interview with John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, Dehlin argued that the situation signals the Church is “trying to stem the tide of Mormons asking hard questions and struggling”; in Kelly’s interpr … [Read more...]

Expanding Our Languages of Religious Experience

“I can imagine Jesus befriending my grandfather, too, frying up some breakfast for him, talking things over with him, and in fact the old man did report several experiences of just that kind. I can’t say the same for myself. I doubt I’d ever have had the strength for it. This is something that has come to my mind from time to time over the years, and I don’t really know what to make of it.”    - John Ames, Gilead During a visit from a couple women in my ward last week, we were chatting over New … [Read more...]

Justice and Fairness

It’s been interesting to follow discussions about gender and priesthood during the last several months. One theme lately has caught my attention: the idea that women’s ordination is required for the sake of justice. Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by virtue of excluding women from priesthood offices, treating the women members unfairly? Is the ordination of women to priesthood offices the just thing to do?The simple answer, I think, is no.Do I think the Church and the … [Read more...]

Mantra

The past several months, I’ve been trying to cultivate a practice of personal meditation (with halting success). After being introduced through a podcast to centering prayer (as taught by Catholic Thomas Keating, who draws on traditions of the Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and others), and wandering tentatively into westernized Buddhist thought, I felt I’d arrived at a refreshing oasis. Perhaps part of the reason for my relief at this new practice stemmed from ov … [Read more...]


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