August 18, 2019

    One amusing thing about the character of Hamlet is that, before the story told in the play begins, he’s been studying at the University of Wittenberg.  Doctor Faustus (aka simply “Faust”) is also said to have studied there.  Plainly, Wittenberg was a popular university among fictional characters.   I’ll be leading a tour to Wittenberg (among other places) in June 2020, because of its very real significance as the adopted city of Martin Luther and the cradle of… Read more

August 18, 2019

    Many have already said so but, for me and my wife, the high point of this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival was its production of Hamlet, which we saw on Friday afternoon.  The direction was fresh, strong, and original, the cast was excellent, and Quinn Mattfeld was a powerful Prince of Denmark.  Polonius, incidentally, was (well) portrayed by Armin Shimerman, who will be familiar to many from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.   I was shocked, incidentally, to see quite… Read more

August 18, 2019

    A quite unfriendly correpondent has challenged me.  Why, he — I presume it’s a “he” — demands, did my recently re-posted column on compassion deliberately exclude my own faith?  Isn’t it because I feel no obligation to be compassionate?  Isn’t it because I’m unrepentantly, indeed self-righteously, mean and vicious?   Well, no.   Apparently, he missed or forgot about my recently published introduction to Volume 32 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “Compassion… Read more

August 18, 2019

    So-called “dark matter,” already quite mysterious, may have become a bit more so:   “Dark Matter May Be Older Than The Big Bang, Study Suggests”   For some of my own musings on the subject of dark matter, here’s a column that I published in the Deseret News back on 13 August 2015, under the title of “Materialism isn’t what it used to be”:   Among the notable characters in C.S. Lewis’ novel “That Hideous Strength” — the… Read more

August 18, 2019

    On Saturday morning, sitting with my wife and one of her friends in the celestial room of the St. George Utah Temple, I found myself watching a rather large group of people there.  Like us clad in white, they were obviously family and friends of a young woman who had come through the temple that morning for the very first time.  As she and they entered the room, there were hugs and kisses and tears of joy.  It… Read more

August 18, 2019

    Inquiring minds want to know!   If I’m not misinformed, a two-part documentary on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case will air on Sunday evening, 18 August 2019, on the “Headline News Network” or HLN channel, which (as I understand it) belongs to CNN.   “The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart (Part 1)” will appear at 9 PM as part of a documentary series called “How It Really Happened.”   “The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart (Part 2)” will appear at… Read more

August 17, 2019

    Our English word science derives, ultimately, from the Latin verb scire, which meant “to know.”  In modern English, though, science doesn’t refer simply to knowledge in general.  Rather, it denotes a certain kind of knowledge — or, even, to be really precise, a certain methodology (or bundle of methodologies; after all, cosmology and botany and geology and particle physics and genetics and astrophysics and ecology employ quite distinct methods and styles of reasoning) for attaining that particular kind… Read more

August 16, 2019

    “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me… Read more

August 16, 2019

    It’s Friday, so another article has been published (today) in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Duane Boyce, “Jacob Did Not Make a False Prediction” Review of Adam S. Miller, “Reading Signs or Repeating Symptoms,” in Christ and Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7, eds. Adam S. Miller and Joseph M. Spencer (Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2017), 10 pages (chapter), 174 pages (book). Abstract. The Neal A. Maxwell Institute recently published a volume on the encounter between Jacob and… Read more

August 16, 2019

    Thanks to the generous efforts of Tom Pittman and Russ Richins, the postprandial remarks made to donors and volunteers at the seventh annual Interpreter Foundation birthday dinner are now available (as usual, at no charge) to anybody who might be interested in hearing and seeing the speakers:   “The Interpreter Foundation 7th Annual Dinner and Fireside”   The breakdown is as follows:   Agenda: 00:00 Dan Peterson: Welcome 00:30 Russ Richins: Witnesses film production update 03:35 Dan Peterson:… Read more

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