Blog Archives

Interpretations: MSH at SVU

May 20, 2008 | 15 comments

This past Friday and Saturday I attended a very enjoyable conference at Southern Virginia University, co-sponsored by Mormon Scholars in the Humanities and the Mormon Scholars Foundation. Read more »

Mormon Studies This Week

March 25, 2008 | 7 comments

This is a big week for Mormon Studies on the Wasatch Front, with events at the University of Utah, Utah Valley State College, Westminster College, and BYU. Read more »

Joy and Anguish

March 7, 2008 | 20 comments

Should a psychologically healthy person be happy, cheerful, carefree? If you are not cheerful is there something wrong with you? Let’s see what Mormon scripture has to say. Read more »

Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology 2008 Program

March 1, 2008 | 14 comments

SMPT is meeting at the University of Utah on March 27-29, and the conference program is now posted on the web. Featured speakers include Stephen T. Davis of Claremont McKenna College and Jad Hatem of Saint Joseph University, Beirut. The conference is free and open to the public. Davis will also deliver a Tanner-McMurrin Lecture at Westminster College that weekend. Read more »

The Form of Mormon Temple Ceremonies

January 17, 2008 | 31 comments

For a concrete idea of what Mormon temple services are like, comparing them with a Catholic Mass actually goes pretty far. Read more »

Reflections on People of Paradox by the Author

November 28, 2007 | 26 comments

Terryl Givens was kind enough to share some reflections on his book, People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture, in response to our questions. His answers follow, in italics. Read more »

People of Paradox Symposium

November 26, 2007 | 8 comments

Terryl Givens’ new book, People of Paradox, provocatively explores how distinctive features of Mormon faith are expressed in Mormon culture. Times and Seasons has decided to hold a symposium to review it, and to take up the conversation it begins. The symposium will include Read more »

Abdullah’s Bold Move in Faithful Education

October 27, 2007 | 18 comments

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is building a university from the ground up. It is to be much less conservative than other Saudi institutions, but is explicitly based in Muslim values. This opens some very exciting possibilities. Read more »

Miracle Fatigue and the Still, Small Voice

October 10, 2007 | 24 comments

Elijah had had enough. He left his servant at Beer-sheba, walked a day’s journey into the desert, and sat down to die. What was going through his head? Read more »

Taking On the Big Questions

September 24, 2007 | 48 comments

Today’s colleges and universities have abandoned their most important task, en masse, says Anthony Kronman in his recent Boston Globe article. What are the prospects for getting back in the saddle? Read more »

Mormonism and Pluralism

June 2, 2007 | 82 comments

Mormonism and Pluralism In the U.S. today, many people are wary of religion because they feel it often supports a kind of intolerance. Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy provides an interesting case study on the relationship between faith and pluralism. On the one hand, we see clear examples of religious intolerance from people like Bill Keller. On the other hand, ironically, the Mormon faith to which Romney adheres is committed in its very scripture to a deep and wide pluralism. Read more »

Summer Seminar Deadline March 2nd

February 24, 2007 | 6 comments

Again this summer, Richard Bushman and Terryl Givens will be leading a summer seminar for graduate students on early Mormon thought. The application deadline has been extended to March 2nd, so there is still time to apply (just!). Read more »

Are Mormons Trinitarian?

October 16, 2006 | 106 comments

Mormons often make fun of traditional Christians for their struggling efforts to make sense of the Biblical teaching that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God. Yet Mormons are committed to the unity of God at least as much as traditional Christians are, by our scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon. Read more »

Where is Mormon Theology done?

September 20, 2006 | 63 comments

UVSC and Utah State have growing Religious Studies programs. The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology will hold its fourth annual meeting at BYU in March 2007 (they are still accepting paper submissions). The broad title of BYU’s new Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship could be construed to include theology in its scope Read more »

BYU Grads Get PhDs

August 16, 2006 | 44 comments

Quite a few of them do, as highlighted in BYU News recently. I am not very impressed with the BYU News article, but the number is still good news to me. Read more »

Enabling Grace

July 28, 2006 | 106 comments

What is “grace”, really? We know we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Nephi 25:23). Of course, lots of people (including some Mormons) think Mormons don’t believe in salvation by grace. Read more »

Faith and Irony at Menno-Hof

June 26, 2006 | 39 comments

A few weeks ago I visited a charming Amish and Mennonite “visitor’s center” in a nearby town. I noticed something I think Mormons can learn from. Read more »

Welcome, Patrick Mason!

June 12, 2006 | 2 comments

I am happy to introduce Patrick Mason as our next guest blogger. Patrick just finished his PhD in History at Notre Dame and will be working here this year as a program coordinator in Peace Studies Read more »

How perfect a union?

May 29, 2006 | 19 comments

Are the United States substantially a moral union–a union on moral questions? This question has bearing on what belongs in the Constitution. Read more »

Reading Balaam Optimistically

May 12, 2006 | 23 comments

Balaam is often mentioned as a fallen prophet, but the main description of him (in Numbers 22-4) doesn’t obviously support this. Read more »

Sitting Down Together

April 13, 2006 | 3 comments

The night before he was killed, Jesus ate the passover with his disciples. Read more »

Mormon Philosophy & Theology Conference

March 3, 2006 | 2 comments

The 2006 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosopy and Theology will be held March 17-18th at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference program now appears on the web, with further details on the location, parking, etc. The conference is free and open to the public. Read more »

Faith as Active Hope: Hope, Plus!

February 1, 2006 | 15 comments

A friend of mine was recently pressing me for a clear account of faith. Here is the gist of what I said, and a bit more. Tell me if you think I’m on the right track! Read more »

Reminder: Summer Seminar on Joseph Smith

January 13, 2006 | no comments

Richard Bushman and Terryl Givens are leading a seminar this summer on “Mormon Thought, 1850 to 1920: Dealing with the Joseph Smith Legacy,” at BYU. Applications are due February 15th Read more »