December 22, 2010

Advent is almost over, the season of the church year that anticipates Christmas. At some point during Advent I like to read the Magnificat, Mary’s psalm of praise in anticipation of her son’s birth, and listen to Charles Villiers Stanford’s lovely musical setting of that text. My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me... Read more

December 20, 2010

The original Production Code for motion pictures in 1930 (called the “Hays Code”) contained strict prohibitions against “pointed profanity”, defined as “the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ — unless used reverently”. While falling out of favor quickly (the Hays Code also contained strict prohibitions against things like “sexual relationships between the white and black races” and “ridicule of the clergy”) this original code for movie standards shows that at one time the use of profane language in film was judged... Read more

December 16, 2010

LDS have at times emphasized uniquely LDS characteristics, and at other times focused on what we have in common with other Christians. Armand Mauss talks about this in terms of maintaining optimum tension with the surrounding culture;  I can’t decide if what I’m about to describe is simply a restate of that principle, or a parallel principle in a different realm. (more…) Read more

December 8, 2010

Series Introduction: Movie ratings are traditionally based on three primary criteria:  profanity, sex, and violence, with some additional emphasis on drug use.  One of the flaws of the current rating system is that each level of PSVD content is wrapped into the same rating, without considering the different categories of content individually.  As such, the current rating system provides no additional information about content for viewers who might care about one category of “objectionable” content more than another. In reality,... Read more

December 4, 2010

When I teach Sunday School or Priesthood, I naturally draw on my experiences and knowledge in preparing the lesson. This means I tend to express my opinions (clearly labeled as such), which strike most people as novel and, put kindly, “interesting.” A ward member sent me an email after I taught one such lesson, and the conversation turned first towards questions of genre and historicity in the Old Testament, and then towards the historicity of the Book of Mormon. After... Read more

December 4, 2010

As many of you did, I read Kathryn Soper’s article about Mormon feminism with great interest. But it’s a paragraph in Claudia Bushman’s response to it that I am pondering. Bushman wrote that the feminist ideal of equal pay for equal work has contributed to an economy where it is difficult to make ends meet on one income, and that this creates a problem for Mormons who believe in the ideal of a non-working mother because it’s increasingly difficult to... Read more

December 2, 2010

James Faulconer, BYU Philosophy professor has joined Patheos to write a weekly column, Speaking Silence. One of the goals of Patheos is to enrich inter-religious understanding, and make the Other more accessible.  As such, it seemed a natural fit to invite Prof. Faulconer because he holds the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding. His other academic credentials are easily found, but I know he also takes great interest in France, (French)  food and Romans, among other things. We welcome him and... Read more

November 22, 2010

Title: In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues that Divide Us Author: James Calvin Davis Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press Genre: Religion/Politics Year: 2010 Pages: 198 ISBN13: 9780664235444 Binding: Paperback Price: 19.95 The subtitle of James Calvin Davis’s new book In Defense of Civility describes an audacious pipe dream. If the book aims to tell readers “How Religion can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues That Divide Us” I would be satisfied with a... Read more

November 20, 2010

We do have some work to do with iTunes in terms of getting the descriptors and links and such correct, but the important thing is, you can now subscribe and new podcasts will download automatically. Search iTunes podcasts for “One Eternal Round” “Patheos” or Spackman, and you’ll get there. Or try this link. Transcript [audio:] Notes and Links (more…) Read more

November 17, 2010

I posted a link and thoughts on Peter Enns’ take on the question of reading the Bible through both academic and religious/devotional lenses. Now the audio of the entire panel presentation is available. Marc Brettler of Brandeis presents a Jewish perspective and Daniel J. Harrington (Boston College) a Catholic perspective. The whole thing is moderated by Jeffrey Tigay (University of Pennsylvania, himself a great Jewish scholar of the Hebrew Bible) and includes a Q&A with students. It’s worth listening to.... Read more

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