The Story of Shmuel and Tailoring Support [Guest Post]

This is a guest post by Ellery Weil on The Last 5 Years. I've included a video clip of a "Story of Shmuel" performance, but it's not the one Ellery is discussing.The Last Five Years is a story of love lost, or maybe love that was never really there. But more than that, it’s a story about the different shapes “support” can take, depending on the person who needs it, and how easy it is for people’s attempts to support each other to backfire without proper communication. One of the main issues p … [Read more...]

“What do you wanna [stay single] for?”

I'm delighted to say that Christian H of The Thinking Grounds has sent in a guest post for the Sondheim Symposium.  Christian H is an English Lit grad student in Canada, and his blog is one of the reasons you should use RSS readers: it updates irregularly, but is always interesting.  Take it away, Christian!Sondheim’s musical Company might strike many as being strangely silent on the subject of what marriage is, and what it is for, considering that it is a musical about marriage. Or, rat … [Read more...]

Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 2)

Now that Michael's given us an overview of the Mormon priesthood and answered some of my questions about how the priesthood relates to gender and transfiguration of spirit, I think we've all got enough background to go on to weirder and wonkier questions.  Again, my questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he's not to be blamed for the illustrations.Q: At various points in the history of Christianity, monks and ascetics were seen as particularly holy because they withdrew … [Read more...]

Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 1)

As a follow-up to Michael Haycock's clarification of what it means to be a Mormon priest or bishop, I did a two-part Q&A about Mormon theology, hierarchy, and culture. My questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he has no culpability for my choice of pictures.Q: Why is the Melchizedek Priesthood reserved to men? Are there any roles reserved to women? Hoo boy. The first question is a loaded one, because it cuts to the quick of the issue of Mormonism and gender, on which you might … [Read more...]

Romney’s a Priest? What does that mean?

Via the Daily Dish, I found an article by Howard P. Kainz, that argues that the media's relative comfort with Romney's religion is proof that most Americans don't consider Mormons to be real Christians.  Here's a pull quote: [T]he fact that Mitt Romney, the first Mormon candidate for the presidency in our nation’s history, is not only a bishop in the LDS church but a High Priest of the highest echelon (the "order of Melchizedek") within that religion, and is not being opposed because of the "s … [Read more...]

[Guest Post] Close Reading of Acts 13

Yesterday, Christian H of The Thinking Grounds posted an outline of how he approaches the Bible (a response to a plea for guest posts).   Today, he's given us a thorough example of what his theory looks like when it's applied.  Many thanks for his contribution.Given how abstract my previous post was, I think that a concrete example is in order. I suggest that you read that previous post if you haven’t already, as I wrote this as a companion to that. I also want to remind you that I don’t … [Read more...]

[Guest Post] A Christian Lit Nerd Reads the Bible

Long ago, I asked Christians to explain how they read the Bible.  At the time, no one wanted to tackle such a complex question in a blog post, so I tried to pry out some answers by including a question on this topic in the Ideological Turing Test.  Today, I'm delighted to announce that Christian H. of The Thinking Grounds has stepped up to the plate (you may remember him from my frequent links to his series on the connection between the self and the body).Christian has written two posts: to … [Read more...]