Speaking SilenceThe Mormon Law of Consecration
Zion may always be in transition and always under revision. Perhaps that is what it means to be human beings always in need of continuing revelation.
ArticleBeing Taught after the Manner of the Jews: A Personal Journey
Here are five key lessons I learned from Torah study on how to read the Book of Mormon.
Benjamin the ScribeHow I Taught Lesson 12
Last Saturday night, I was asked to pinch hit for Gospel Doctrine. Since my posts here aren’t written as lesson plans, what and how I teach often differ significantly from what I write. Our lesson ended with some text criticism, close reading, and critical thinking about tradition, and by the end of the lesson, I had a [Read More...]
When Gods Were MenCome You Masters of War: Joshua Madson Lecture
This Tuesday night (March 31st), author of the forthcoming book Buried Words: Recovering the Non-Violent Message of the Book of Mormon, Joshua Madson, will present a guest lecture in my “Book of Mormon as Literature” course. The topic will be “Violence and War in the Text.” Joshua will share a narrative approach to the Book [Read More...]
The Soul and the CityProgressive Moral Madness
Here’s my latest little ditty for the Deseret News. To get from Kant to grade-school relativism all in 750 is a bit hasty, I know, but the connection is there all the same. And this may help to answer a common objection I hear to my critiques of progressivism and/or relativism: Of course our liberals [Read More...]
Peculiar PeopleApplication Deadline Extended for Wheatley Seminar
Advanced undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply to participate in a three week seminar from June 22-July 10 in Provo, Utah, surveying early Christian thought, Mormon theological foundations, contemporary social issues– and how we might find connections among all three. A rare opportunity to integrate the sometimes esoteric realms of Mormon theology with the [Read More...]
AestheismWhat the Heck is a Platypus?
In the mid-eighteenth century, Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist, figured out what mammals are: hairy, warm-blooded, live-born, mammary-feeders (hence, the term mammals). At this point, Europeans breathed a collective sigh of relief that they could be certain to know a mammal when they saw one. Linnaeus’s taxonomy was the perfect Enlightenment project. Having pulled down [Read More...]
KiwiMormonMonogamous Mormon Threatened for Rejection of Polygamy
On the 2nd February Kirk van Allen wrote a critique of Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In his analysis he concluded that as far as he could see polygamy was morally wrong. For this assertion he recently reported that he has been asked by his church leaders to revise the blog removing all suggestion that [Read More...]
Faith-Promoting RumorAcademic Freedom at BYU, Part 2: The Role of the Academic Vice President
(Part 1 here). Faculty issues at BYU are funneled through the office of the Academic Vice President. For our purposes it is important to know that the office of the AVP deals with faculty hiring and firing, promotion and “tenure” (“Continuing Faculty Status”*) and discipline. Thus when a department sends one of its own up [Read More...]
The Welcome TableInvisible Women and The Winter’s Tale
The best role for a female Shakespearean actor is Hermione in The Winter’s Tale. Hermione, though absent for much of the play, dominates it with her nobility and grace. Unlike Rosalind or Portia or others of Shakespeare’s strong women, Hermione never puts on a man’s clothes to show her power. She is already empowered. She [Read More...]
Mormon TherapistThe Effects of Excommunication on All of Us: Healing Perspectives
This week the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has once again been in the news in regards to the excommunication of one of our own: this time it’s John Dehlin of Mormon Stories – only months after the excommunication of Kate Kelly of Ordain Women. There have been lesser, yet still painful ramifications (losing callings, not being able [Read More...]