Blog Archives

Gertrud Specht

May 6, 2008 | 9 comments
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Gertrud Specht had been a searcher her whole life before she found what she was looking for Read more »

Prophets and textual criticism

April 25, 2008 | 33 comments
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The Book of Mormon poses a thorny problem for assumptions about the history of scriptural texts, especially if it isn’t true Read more »

What’s Wrong with Ancient Research in Mormon Studies

April 9, 2008 | 57 comments
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Mormon Studies has become a relic area for outdated ideas about texts and their transmission. That becomes clear in reading a number of contributions to Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy (FARMS, 2005) Read more »

History, apostasy, and faith-promoting rumors

March 30, 2008 | 29 comments
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Mormon belief in an early Christian apostasy suggests a couple of historiographic projects that are, I think, doomed to failure, but there might be an alternative Read more »

BYU: The Crimson or the Crimson Tide of the West?

March 24, 2008 | 55 comments
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Actually, it’s more like the Intermountain Cornhuskers, or the Mormon Maccabees Read more »

Is priesthood authority a historical category?

March 20, 2008 | 21 comments
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No, it isn’t. Which means that defining an early Christian apostasy as the loss of priesthood authority doesn’t tell us anything, even in a Mormon framework, about the apostasy as a historical event Read more »

Kosovo

March 15, 2008 | 17 comments
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When we arrived at church two weeks ago, everything looked normal. The building was clean and not a chair was out of place. Read more »

Literacy, Literalism, and the Isaiah Chapters of the Book of Mormon

March 11, 2008 | 19 comments
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One of the distinctive features of the Book of Mormon is its pervasive anxiety about literacy Read more »

Samson

February 22, 2008 | 7 comments
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Regina Spektor’s contribution to the underrepresented lyrical genre of speculative historical romance suggests, from the perspective of Delilah, that the story could have ended differently: Read more »

Did revelation cease?

February 14, 2008 | 35 comments
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It seems to me that Mormon discourse has two mutually contradictory ways of talking about revelation during the Middle Ages, and that neither view takes much notice of actual medieval views on the matter. Read more »

Dear Brandon Sanderson

January 15, 2008 | 34 comments
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A few months ago, Kaimi asked you a few questions about your experience as a Mormon author. You not only responded, but your answers were interesting and thoughtful. In fact, your answers suggested that you might just be the kind of author whose books I would enjoy. So I bought Mistborn. Read more »

Prayer and parascripture

December 20, 2007 | 27 comments
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‘Parascripture’ was the term Hugh Nibley used to refer to popular statements of religious sentiment that weren’t actually found in scripture, and that can sometimes be the vehicle for foreign ideas to find a home in a Mormon setting. An example in recent circulation is, “If you want to talk to God, pray; if you want God to talk to you, read the scriptures.” Read more »

HIHO

December 17, 2007 | 3 comments
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That stands for “Historian In, Historian Out”–Times and Seasons bids farewell to one historian, Paul Reeve, and welcomes another, David Grua. Read more »

Orality, Literacy, Apostasy and Restoration

December 4, 2007 | 40 comments
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In the historiography of communication, orality refers to reliance on the spoken word as well as to the corresponding institutions and habits of mind, while literacy means not just the ability to read, but also the mental habits and social institutions that attend the use of writing, or more specifically the use of an alphabetic writing system, or the particular cognitive framework that has developed along with the alphabetic systems of Western Europe. The Mormon concept of a historical apostasy can be described in terms of orality and literacy. In fact, Brian Stock, an eminent historian of medieval literature,... Read more »

Sorting voices from the dust

November 19, 2007 | 17 comments
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When we read the Book of Mormon, whose voice do we think we are hearing? Trying to answer that question, I think, is one of the essential moves in a Mormon mode of interpretation. Consider, for example, 2 Nephi 2:17, where Lehi pauses to speculate on Lucifer’s origins: Read more »

Romantics and their Fragments

November 7, 2007 | 8 comments
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Reading the Book of Mormon is a lot like reading Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan.” Read more »

Notes on Halloween

November 1, 2007 | 31 comments
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1. I don’t like Halloween. When we moved to Germany, I was looking forward to spending a couple years without interference from the least export-worthy American holiday celebration I can imagine. 2. Since I was last here, Halloween has been exported to Germany. Read more »

The Morning Star

October 21, 2007 | 9 comments
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We don’t often refer to Christ as the morning star, although there’s good scriptural precedent for the metaphor, and several 16/17th century Lutheran hymns (my particular target of religious envy) make use of it. Read more »

Books, Mormons, Interpretation

October 17, 2007 | 36 comments
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The topic of the 2008 conference of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities is “Interpretation: LDS Perspectives.” I won’t be there, unfortunately. But if I were to attend, I know what I would talk about. Read more »

A reader wants to know…

September 20, 2007 | 33 comments
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A T&S reader has a question about daily family scripture study. How have you made it work in your home? To what extent do the words “daily,” “family,” “scripture,” and “study” apply? Read more »

Only in the Mormon Church

September 10, 2007 | 96 comments
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When we first moved to our current ward, for an initial stay of only a year, I was asked to serve as a counselor in the elders quorum presidency before I had attended a single sacrament meeting here. A year ago, we returned to the same ward, and yesterday we discovered that that previous elders quorum president and my wife are eighth cousins. And all this time we had assumed we were the exceptions in a ward and stake where everyone seems to be related to each other. Read more »

Cosmos: a personal view

September 4, 2007 | 58 comments
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In 1980, when I was nine, for thirteen weeks running, I watched Cosmos on Sunday nights with my father. Read more »

We’re number 68!

August 21, 2007 | 34 comments
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BYU shot up over 50 places in the university rankings that were just released this week. Not in the US News and World Report rankings, where BYU continues to bounce around the 70s, but in the Washington Monthly rankings of universities’ based on their contributions to society, where BYU went from 124 to 68, right between Loyola Chicago and Brown. Read more »

Suggestions for expatriate Mormons

August 14, 2007 | 71 comments
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I don’t know of any Americans planning to move into my ward soon. If there were any, I wish they would understand a few things from the outset. (If you’re contemplating a foreign assignment in an industrial nation, some of this might apply to your situation as well.) Read more »

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