Blog Archives

You can’t leave home again

June 14, 2008 | 10 comments
By

At the end of my junior year of high school, I caught a glimpse of my graduating student body president one last time Read more »

Our patchwork ward family

June 12, 2008 | 49 comments
By

There are advantages to attending a ward too small for fixed wooden benches in the chapel Read more »

Eurovision’s Mormon Moment

May 24, 2008 | 23 comments
By

From the international annals of overachieving singing and dancing Mormons The Mormon moment for the Eurovision Song Contest came in 1984 Read more »

Heimskringla and historicity

May 8, 2008 | 47 comments
By

There’s a reasonable chance that all efforts to situate the Book of Mormon over the last 180 years, geographically, culturally, and chronologically, are based on the Nephite version of the Donation of Constantine. But first, let’s talk about Odin. Read more »

Gertrud Specht

May 6, 2008 | 9 comments
By

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
By

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
By

Mormon Studies has become a relic area for outdated ideas about texts and their transmission.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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

One of the distinctive features of the Book of Mormon is its pervasive anxiety about literacy Read more »

Samson

February 22, 2008 | 7 comments
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

‘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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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 »