Blog Archives

Mormonism Isn’t About Mormonism

October 22, 2014 | 4 comments
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It’s a mistake to think that Mormonism is about Mormonism. Read more »

The Body of Christ

October 16, 2014 | 35 comments
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“Is the church true?” This question is, I think, poorly posed. It seems ill-suited to the kind of existential burn that might compel me to ask it. It seems like a bad fit for what I’m after in a white-knuckled prayer. Read more »

The Crucible of Doubt – A Review

October 7, 2014 | 6 comments
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Fiona and Terryl Givens’ The Crucible of Doubt is a nearly perfect book. I hope that a million Mormons read it. Crucible manages to do what all great religious writing must: it sacrifices the impulse to prove its religion and, instead, takes up the yoke of living it. Read more »

James Faulconer – Making Things Harder

July 15, 2014 | 11 comments
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James Faulconer – Making Things Harder

It seems to me that the scriptures offer two types of revelations: (1) they reveal things you didn’t already know, and (2) they reveal that you didn’t know many of the things you thought you knew. Both kinds of revelation are pivotal. And each tends to depend on the other. James Faulconer’s new series of books — The Book of Mormon Made Harder, The Doctrine and Covenants Made Harder, The Old Testament Made Harder, and The New Testament Made Harder (forthcoming) — can help on both of these fronts. Though, to be fair, they’re especially good at the latter. Read more »

Upcoming Book Events – July 2

June 30, 2014 | 2 comments
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Books

If you’re around and interested, Zion’s Books (274 W. Center Street, Provo) will be hosting a roundtable discussion with myself, David Bokovoy, and Joseph Spencer at 6pm on Wednesday, July 2. Janiece Johnson will moderate the discussion.  Our topic: “Is Scripture Relevant?” Read more »

The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies

June 26, 2014 | 8 comments
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The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies

What I tend to lack in quality, I hope to make up for with quantity. And what I lack in training and credentials, I hope to gather and borrow. In many ways, these maxims have guided the time I’ve invested in a project called the Mormon Theology Seminar. Read more »

A Brief Note on History, Angels, and Such

May 23, 2014 | 24 comments
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Let’s say that the historicity of the Book of Mormon could be demonstrated irrefutably. (Say that Nephi returned in a cloud of glory, held a press conference, and pointed us to incontrovertible archeological proof.) Would I tune in to watch? Yes. Would this convince me to join or stay in the church? Read more »

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 »