Blog Archives

Letters to a Young Mormon

January 15, 2014 | 10 comments
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Letters to a Young Mormon

I published a new book called Letters to a Young Mormon (Maxwell, 2014). It’s very small and very personal. You should read it. Read more »

Deadline – New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

December 14, 2013 | no comments
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Deadline – New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

Just a reminder that the deadline for applications for the First Annual Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology, co-spsonsored by The Mormon Theology Seminar and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, is December 15, 2013. Read more »

New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

October 10, 2013 | one comment
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New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

The Mormon Theology Seminar and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship are pleased to announce the First Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology, “A Dream, a Rock, and a Pillar of Fire: Reading 1 Nephi 1.” Read more »

“Opposition in All Things: Perspectives on the Fall”

May 25, 2013 | 13 comments
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The Mormon Theology Seminar will host a two-day conference, “Opposition in All Things: Mormon Perspectives on the Fall,” at Utah Valley University on June 7-8, 2013. Read more »

Theoscatology

May 24, 2013 | 19 comments
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We need bodies to become like God. But bodies are organs of passing. Read more »

An Open Letter to Mormon Thinkers

May 2, 2013 | 21 comments
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An Open Letter to Mormon Thinkers

Last week I published something in a prominent series at a first-rate university press. It is, I think, the most rigorous, speculative, and systematic attempt at a professional take on Mormon philosophy, ever. Read more »

Tattooed

April 30, 2013 | 3 comments
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On his deathbed, Queequeg asks the ship’s carpenter to fashion him a burial canoe. So fashioned, Queequeg demands to lay himself the length of it, testing its virtue. Then, having abruptly remembered something he’d forgotten to do, he decides not to die after all and rises from the grave. Read more »

Groundwork

April 12, 2013 | 19 comments
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Groundwork

In 2009 I helped found Salt Press. This past week I helped close its doors. Read more »

Maxwell Institute Announcements

March 25, 2013 | no comments
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Ladies and gentlemen, the new Maxwell Institute Blog is now live.  Check out the announcement about the newly reconstituted Mormon Studies Review. Read more »

Conference: “Beyond the Mormon Moment”

February 19, 2013 | no comments
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“Beyond the Mormon Moment: Directions for Mormon Studies in the New Century” A Conference in Honor of the Career of Armand Mauss March 15-16, 2013 Read more »

Contraction

February 8, 2013 | 7 comments
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I want to understand one thing especially. All my work bends to it. I want to understand the contraction of religious belief as a positive religious phenomenon. Read more »

Belief As Habit

February 6, 2013 | 23 comments
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In “How to Make Our Ideas Clear,” Charles Peirce argues that belief just is whatever it does. Read more »

The Kingdom of God Is Within You

January 2, 2013 | one comment
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Would you like to learn more about how to not just brownout when you kneel down in prayer? It’s a good New Year’s resolution: learning how to be still and listen for God. Read more »

Book of Mormon (Stories) Girl

December 18, 2012 | 2 comments
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I’m no longer of the opinion that religion matters because it makes life meaningful. Religion, it seems to me, makes meaning rather the way breathing makes CO2: as leavings, as tailings. That’s fine. Meaning may follow, but it’s meant to be exhaled. If you hold your breath, you’ll suffocate. Read more »

Book of Mormon (Afghan) Girl

December 11, 2012 | 17 comments
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You thought you were going to get it right. Right. Instead, you’re morphing into that crazy guy who sits on the front row in Sunday School with two hands up and three incompatible opinions. Given your extremity, making you crazy may well be God’s worst best way of saving you. Plan A is out the window. Now, the only way to get there from here is through that. Read more »

The God Who Weeps: Agency

November 20, 2012 | 9 comments
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I agree with The God Who Weeps that agency is pivotal, but I disagree about what agency is. Read more »

The God Who Weeps: Darwin

November 9, 2012 | 30 comments
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I’m glad to see that The God Who Weeps makes some room for Darwin, but I wish it had made more. Read more »

The God Who Weeps: Pre-existence

November 6, 2012 | 15 comments
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I agree with The God Who Weeps that our doctrine of pre-existence is crucial, but I disagree about why. Read more »

The God Who Weeps: Satisfaction

October 31, 2012 | 12 comments
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I agree with The God Who Weeps that God redeems our hungers and desires, but I disagree about how God does this. Read more »

The God Who Weeps: Faith

October 25, 2012 | 20 comments
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I agree with The God Who Weeps that faith is a decision, but I disagree about the site of this decision. Read more »

Silas Marner, Empty Casket

October 24, 2012 | 5 comments
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Defamed and exiled, Silas Marner loses his native faith. Now he’s got nothing to prop up his soul. Read more »

Exploring Mormon Thought: Benediction

October 19, 2012 | 7 comments
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Exploring Mormon Thought: Benediction

In linguistics, a word that is only attested once in a text is called a hapax legomenon. In older texts (like Hebrew and Mayan texts), these hapaxes can be especially hard to decipher because that single attestation may be the word’s only occurrence anywhere. Lacking context, it’s hard to tell what a hapax means. Read more »

American Academy of Religion – CFP in Mormon Studies

October 14, 2012 | 2 comments
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AAR Pacific Northwest Region AAR/SBL/ASOR Regional Meeting Seattle University Seattle, Washington May 3-5, 2013 SPECIAL TOPICS: MORMON STUDIES Read more »

Exploring Mormon Thought: Two Paths in a Wood

October 10, 2012 | 23 comments
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Exploring Mormon Thought: Two Paths in a Wood

Blake Ostler does a lot of admirable critical work in Of God and Gods (Kofford, 2008), but the book’s main constructive contribution grows out of his decision to make our heady claims about the superlative attributes of God throb with a Hebrew heart. Read more »

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