Blog Archives

My School

July 25, 2005 | 98 comments
By

I did not want to go to BYU. Read more »

John Roberts and Mormon Theology

July 22, 2005 | 19 comments
By

For those who haven’t noticed, John Roberts has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. The next obvious question is what does his jurisprudence tell us about Mormon theology. Read more »

Three Generations of Mormon Legal History

July 19, 2005 | 7 comments
By

Okay, it is time for another post on Mormon legal history. This one is on the state of the field and where we go from here. Read more »

How Reed Smoot Restored what Winston Churchill had Preserved

July 15, 2005 | 12 comments
By

It is hard not to admire Winston Churchill. Read more »

Endocannibalism in Sacrament Meeting

July 14, 2005 | 163 comments
By

Cannibalism, it seems to me, is one of the unspoken issues that lurks beneath all Mormon sacrament meetings. Read more »

Temple Worship and the Retreat of Esoteric Space

July 13, 2005 | 44 comments
By

In a comment on Gordon’s recent post, Jed Woodworth raises an interesting point. He, entirely accurately, points out that the notion that the temple is a place that most members should regularly attend is a late 20th century phenomena in Mormonism. Prior to that time, the temple, for most members, was generally a place visited once or twice in a life time, and work for the dead was largely delegated to specially called temple workers. Indeed, during the 1930s, Heber J. Grant actually hired people to do temple work on behalf of his ancestors as a kind of make-work... Read more »

The First Mormon Justice

July 11, 2005 | 47 comments
By

It occurs to me that there is a politically well-connected Mormon who is eminently qualified to take Justice O’Connor’s slot on the Supreme Court. (And no, I don’t mean Orrin Hatch.) Read more »

The Great Liberal Death Wish?

July 8, 2005 | 105 comments
By

Here is an empirical question that I don’t really know the answer to: Read more »

Ed Firmage’s Apostasy and the Age of Mormonism

July 7, 2005 | 61 comments
By

Ed Firmage, for many years the token Mormon at the U of U law school, is an interesting apostate. Read more »

The Theology of Jeffersonian Hypocrisy

July 1, 2005 | 32 comments
By

I recently spent a week or so immersed in constitutional law, looking at — among other things — the place of the Declaration of Independence in constitutional interpretation. It has gotten me thinking about the virtues of hypocrisy. Read more »

Very Important News

June 23, 2005 | 14 comments
By

A frequent morning ritual for me involves taking a bag of compost to our garden, which is several blocks from our house, on my drive to work. I enjoy this little task. Read more »

Dubitante

June 21, 2005 | 34 comments
By

In the common law world, judges are required to write opinions that justify their decisions. The holdings and reasoning in these opinions then become the law. Generally speaking, there are two sorts of opinions. First, there are opinions offered by the court that state its decision and the reasons for it. Second, there are dissents, which explain why the dissenting judge cannot join the majority’s opinion. There is also, however, an almost completely forgotten, third kind of opinion that is worth thinking about: a dubitante or dubitans. Read more »

Game Theory and Mormon History

June 14, 2005 | 17 comments
By

So let’s think about Zion as a prisoner’s dilemma (PD). Read more »

The Seduction of Heather Oman

June 13, 2005 | 26 comments
By

At first she was basically opposed to the idea. Read more »

Book Review: Being Bugged by Armstrong

June 10, 2005 | 71 comments
By

I just finished Karen Armstrong’s Islam: A Short History and I was bugged. Read more »

John Adams and the Problem of Joseph Smith’s Legal Papers

June 10, 2005 | 7 comments
By

A few days ago, I had the rare experience of actually having enough time to sit in my study and read. Read more »

And now the news you have all been waiting for…

June 10, 2005 | 49 comments
By

It is time for another garden update. Read more »

From the Archives: How Joseph Smith Restored Greek Religion

June 7, 2005 | no comments
By

I’ve been thinking of late about immortality and Mormonism. My question is whether or not you can be a Good Mormon and a Good Homeric Hero. I am unclear on the answer, but Moroni and John Taylor seem to suggest that for at least one Good Mormon being a Homeric Hero was just fine. (more…) Read more »

Political versus Theological Friendships

May 31, 2005 | 36 comments
By

Are theological friendships possible between different religions? At times I am skeptical. Consider the always fascinating question of which Christian denomination likes Mormons the least? Read more »

Mormons and Markets, III: Strangers and Neighbors

May 26, 2005 | 8 comments
By

In my last post on this subject, I argued that one of things that markets do well is coordinate dispersed information. Another thing that markets do fairly well is facilitate cooperation among strangers. This is worth thinking about. Read more »

Against Fundamental Questions

May 24, 2005 | 78 comments
By

We tend to think that fundamental questions are important and therefore that they ought to take up much of our intellectual effort. This view may be mistaken. Consider, for example, Islamic law. Read more »

An Ethical Question from the Laws of War

May 20, 2005 | 95 comments
By

Are executions in the town square less moral than air bombing? Consider the following hypotheticals from the international law of war. Read more »

Spinach

May 18, 2005 | 15 comments
By

An update on the Oman garden is in order. Read more »

Flags, Idols and Envy of the SPQR

May 18, 2005 | 44 comments
By

Of late, I have been reading about the Romans, a group of exceptionally creative — if frequently cruel — lawyers with a really good army. What is not to like? It has got me thinking a bit about patriotism. Read more »