Times & Seasons Welcomes…A Gentile*

June 7, 2004 | 4 comments
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In our continuing effort to bring something new to the Bloggernacle, Times & Seasons is delighted to welcome on board our latest guestblogger–Damon Linker, current editor of First Things magazine, one of the premier religious journals of opinion and commentary in the United States. Damon is probably the most intelligent outside observer of Mormonism I have ever had the pleasure to know. He studied and received a Ph.D. in political philosophy at Michigan State University**, after which he taught for two years at Brigham Young University, where he did such a smashing job that at least a few of those who worked with him tried, in vain, to find some way around BYU’s current (and unfortunate, if you ask me) mandate for hiring only Mormons into tenure-track positions. (I can remember telling Damon at a conference that if he’d only convert, they’d roll out the red carpet for him. He declined.) Currently, he spends his time arguing with–and editing the work of–some of the most prominent public intellectuals of our day, engaging in debates political, philosophical, theological, and cultural. We look forward to basking in the glow of–and being challenged by–some of that intellectual fire and controversy over the next couple of weeks. Mr Linker, welcome!

*That is, in the historical Mormon use of the term.

**For the three or so of us for whom this is meaningful: yes, that does mean Damon was taught by Straussians. So don’t think he’ll let you get away with any casual exoteric/esoteric arguments; he knows all their moves.

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4 Responses to Times & Seasons Welcomes…A Gentile*

  1. Nate Oman on June 7, 2004 at 3:56 pm

    Damon, welcome! I look forward to your comments. Also, don’t let Russell give you grief about the Straussian thing. He’s just jealous that he didn’t get to learn the esoteric meanings in graduate school…

  2. lyle on June 7, 2004 at 4:02 pm

    Prof. Linker! Welcome! While I didn’t have a class with you…I saw you often while John (he has his blog linked here, House of Payne International) was your TA & I worked for Matt Marostica.

    Welcome!

  3. John David Payne on June 7, 2004 at 5:05 pm

    Lyle, you’re confused. I was a TA for one of the other gentiles in the poli sci dept., Will Ruger. (He is another one of those who should have been offered a tenure-track position from BYU. He’s as fine a teacher as any I have ever seen.)

    I did take a class from Prof. Linker, though (PS 202). Matter of fact, I pulled a pretty stupid stunt in that class. We had been talking about Rousseau’s belief that humans have no free will, and I pulled out a newspaper and began reading it to make a point in a humorous way. As I remember, Prof. Linker didn’t think it was very funny.

    To this day, I feel bad about that. Sorry I was such a punk.

  4. lyle on June 7, 2004 at 5:15 pm

    John: my bad. I just remember you talking about his class I guess. anywho…why not turn this thread into a “welcome + tell your bad story in class” thread?

    I liked reading your newspaper stunt. Mayhap our esteemed guest will answer whether or not he remembers your stunt & whether or not he was amused? :)

    I tried something similar in a Trial Advocacy class…taking a call on my cell while interviewing a client & telling her that I will always answer her calls [since so many lawyers try to avoid their clients]. She wasn’t amused nor was the professor…who flunked me, despite my apology.

WELCOME

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