Blog Archives

Of Gluttony and Gardens

September 22, 2005 | 42 comments

The Seven Deadly Sins have fallen on hard times. Codified by Pope Gregory I in the sixth century, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride enjoyed a robust career in the Middle Ages, inspiring countless works of art. In the current Cathechism of the Catholic Church, however, these seven sins warrant exactly one paragraph (out of nearly 3000). Which is just as well, I suppose–positive invocations of morality probably help a lot more than simply listing sins, which often only encourages further (often Pharasaical) list-making. Still, there is one good thing which can come from such explicit lists:... Read more »


September 7, 2005 | 18 comments

There’s a new family which just moved into our ward; the father is also a new professor at WIU, like myself, and he’s occupying a temporary slot here, trying to figure out what will come next, also like myself. So we have a fair amount in common. We had them over for dinner on Monday, and I discovered something else we have in common: Katrina. Or rather, how close we came to being in its path. Read more »

What They Art (for 40 Years, and Counting)

August 20, 2005 | 19 comments
What They Art (for 40 Years, and Counting)

Today, August 20th, the youngest of my eight siblings, Baden Joseph Fox, married Mary Ellen Smoot in the Salt Lake temple. We weren’t able to attend, which was doubly unfortunate, this being a particularly notable day in Fox family history. You see, on the same date their last child was married, my parents, James Russell Fox and Kathleen Jolley Fox, were married in the Salt Lake temple, 40 years earlier. This post is for them. Read more »

Leaving Jonesboro

August 9, 2005 | 10 comments

This past Sunday was our last in the Jonesboro ward. We’re moving to Illinois on Saturday, and while we’ll have a chance to say goodbye at greater length to some of our closer friends over the next few days (to say nothing of when the elder’s quorum shows up to help pack the truck!), for the most part our partings on Sunday were final. (At least in the short term, that is; in the long term, who knows? We may well find ourselves visiting or even living in Jonesboro again someday, a prospect which I wouldn’t mind one bit.) Read more »

Vielen Dank, Jonathan!

July 27, 2005 | 18 comments

Leider ist die Zeit des Jonathan Green zum blog mit uns zu einem Ende gekommen. Er war ein wundervoller Gast-blogger, der uns sehr viel unterhielt und unterrichtete. Danke so Jonathan und wir hoffen, dass Sie fortfahren, an Times & Seasons hier teilzunehmen! Read more »

The Real Handcart Song

July 24, 2005 | 21 comments

My Pioneer Day wish for the day: let’s not forget the song as the pioneers themselves actually sang it: Read more »

Introducing (Again) Jonathan Green

July 7, 2005 | 13 comments

A little while ago, Times & Seasons was pleased to announce that Jonathan Green–scholar, master of trivia, academic vagabond and world-class T&S commenter–had agreed to grace our blog with a guest stint. Since his initial post, however, he’s been on the move, taking his family from Charleston, South Carolina (where he had a visiting position at the College of Charleston) to Lansing, Michigan (where he will take up a visiting position at Michigan State University), with stops at Arkansas (where he and his family visited Chez Fox and we shared some nice BBQ ribs) and Illinois in between. (Yes,... Read more »

A Preview, A Review

May 31, 2005 | 26 comments

Jonathan Green reviews Prelude to the Restoration. Read more »

What Do We Think of the Jews?

May 27, 2005 | 23 comments

I confess to being something of a universalist when it comes to Christianity. Read more »

Thoughts on Ricoeur

May 23, 2005 | 6 comments

Paul Ricoeur, the French phenomenologist and scholar of hermeneutics, has passed away at age 92. He was a profound and important thinker, especially for those interested in addressing the problem of belief–in the Bible, the reality of evil, the possibility of justice, the meaning of life–in the midst of our skeptical, modern world. Several months back, when Jacques Derrida died, Jim and I ended up writing dueling posts. Perhaps that’ll happen again. I’d certainly be happy if it did, since I’d very much like to read Jim’s assessment of Ricoeur’s work, and perhaps something on its relationship to our... Read more »

On Pentecost, Without Fear

May 15, 2005 | 14 comments

Today is Whitsunday, the Day of Pentecost, commemorating the day when the apostles “were all filled with the Holy Ghost,” as Jesus had promised they would be. I’ve written about Whitsunday before, about how I’ve never, to my knowledge, experienced any comparable spiritual manifestation or revelation, and also about those small gifts of belief that I yet hope are mine nonetheless. This year (coincidentally?), I find myself thinking about many related matters–about how much I yearn for some sort of clear answer or witness or sign or confirmation regarding what my family and I should do about this major... Read more »

Of Popes, Post-Mortal and Otherwise

April 11, 2005 | 67 comments

John Fowles’s comment on the Pope (namely, that he “has been a true Christian his whole life and a marvelous example of Christian charity and love to the whole world….I am confident that he will make the right choices in the spirit world”), made at By Common Consent and picked up (out of context) by the Salt Lake Tribune, has inspired a series of sharp exchanges at BCC. The argument there (which is a good one to read through) basically boils down to whether or not the belief that the spirit of Pope John Paul II, now presumably in... Read more »

Death of a Prophet

April 4, 2005 | 42 comments

When Pope John Paul II was named “Man of the Year” in 1994 by Time Magazine, I cut off the cover, framed it, and put it up in our apartment. We kept it up, from one apartment to the next, for a couple of years, and even at one point had a framed photo of President Hinckley on the wall next to it as well. (No visitor ever commented on our arrangement, though I often wonder what some of them may have thought.) So yes, you could say I was a major fan of the Pope. I mourn his... Read more »

The Consolation of Doctrine (For Tessa, and All Who Love Her)

March 5, 2005 | 35 comments

Last week my newest niece, Tessa Alene Fox, was buried. I never saw her alive. Neither did anyone else in my family, nor did her parents, though they got to know her, at least little bit, during the nine months she grew inside my sister-in-law’s body. One afternoon, only days before Tessa’s due date, she stopped moving; by the following morning, their doctor confirmed their fears: Tessa was dead. My sister-in-law was induced, and gave birth to her child’s lifeless body without complications later that day. The umbilical cord was wrapped around Tessa’s neck not once, not twice, but... Read more »

Hugh Nibley, Prophet

February 24, 2005 | 44 comments

That is, truth-teller. Far greater than his scholarship, in my opinion, was his unwavering determination to speak plainly about what he understood to be the plain teachings–the social, economic, political and cultural teachings–of the prophets. By so doing he changed lives, and even, I think, saved souls. Of course, the actual “value” of his interpretations can be disputed; certainly it is the case that his somewhat flaky, scripturally inspired socialism/environmentalism/pacifism/agrarianism/what-have-you-ism never amounted to a solid foundation upon which one could erect laws, establish policies, distribute goods, enforce treaties, and basically get things done. It was, in other words, strictly... Read more »

Proxy Baptizing Holocaust Victims = Fanaticism?

February 21, 2005 | 182 comments

That’s the implication of this angry piece by David Velleman, a philosophy professor at the University of Michigan. Reading about the activities of certain evangelical groups to proselytize in the wake of the tsunami catatrosphe (some of which, I agree, are more than a little insensitive), Velleman reflects upon his discovery, over a decade ago, that his long-dead family (Dutch Jews, all) had been subject to some proxy proselytizing themselves: Read more »

Priesthood Blessings: Whos, Whens, Whys

February 17, 2005 | 50 comments

I recently returned from what may turn out to have been a very important job interview. (Then again, it may not.) When my wife mentioned this interview to a friend via e-mail, the friend wrote back, asking if I’d received a priesthood blessing before I’d gone. I hadn’t. Read more »

Ashes to Ashes

February 9, 2005 | 2 comments

The idea of Ash Wednesday is to mark a period–a period of mourning and chastening, discipline and devotion–of 40 days before Easter. The significance of the 40 days goes without saying. But why ashes? Read more »

The Gospel in Paradise

February 7, 2005 | 35 comments

For nine days at the end of January, my wife and kids and I were on the Big Island of Hawai’i, enjoying paradise in the company of my parents, who own a time-share condominium there and visit there every January. They’d decided that it’d been too long since they’d spent any amount of time alone with us or our children, and invited us to come along; we didn’t say no. We’d been to Hawaii before, but this was, without doubt, a vacation to remember: delicious fruit, beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, long talks with my mom and dad, swimming and... Read more »

Gender Crisis in the Fox Household

January 14, 2005 | 50 comments

I’m the Webelos and 11-year-old Scouts leader in our ward; we meet at the church every Wednesday, which is the day of the week pretty much everything youth-related happens. Given that many people drive quite a distance to make it to various meetings and activities, it’s not unusual for a few families to show up en masse and stay through the evening, with the younger kids tearing apart the nursery or playing games while the adults carry out their responsibilities. This is common enough that it’s become a kind of “play-date” for many children in our ward, our own... Read more »

Some (Long) Thoughts on Mormon Political Theology

January 12, 2005 | 6 comments

This past weekend I flew down to New Orleans to participate in a panel at the Southern Political Science Association on “The Theory and Practice of Mormon Politics.” The panel was originally proposed and organized by our own Nate Oman and frequent T&S commenter Jeremiah John, a graduate student at Notre Dame; unfortunately, Nate wasn’t able to join us, so in the end the panel consisted of papers from me, Jeremy, and Roger Barrus from Hampden-Sydney College, with comments from former T&S guest-blogger Damon Linker. Ralph Hancock, a BYU professor of political science, chaired the panel. What follows is... Read more »

Can a Good Mormon Be a Socialist?

December 16, 2004 | 167 comments

One of the great benefits of having Nate Oman and Frank McIntyre as regular bloggers here at T&S is that they can rapidly and thoroughly devastate the flakey assumptions which underlie my repetetive calls for social arrangements which prioritize public goods and community maintenance over individual choice and economic growth. This is a good thing: it’s good to be corrected by people who have more knowledge than you, and it’s good to be humbled. I’m confident this post will continue in that tradition. Read more »

Leavitt to HHS?

December 14, 2004 | 11 comments

Well, perhaps now we’ll see if, as discussed at length on this site, there is anything particular a Mormon can offer to discussions of stem-cell research or family welfare policies. President Bush has just nominated former Utah governor Mike Leavitt to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. My guess: don’t expect to see Mormon theology mingle with Republican orthodoxy anytime soon. Read more »

Saying No to Baptism: A Philosophical Account

December 9, 2004 | 36 comments

A couple of days ago, Bob Caswell reposted at BCC a wonderful old post of his, dealing primarily with the complications of missionary work in an area (in this case, Bulgaria) where there are significant racial, social, and economic factors which get in the way of preaching the gospel to everyone equally. In the comments following that post, Gary made an observation which has been made many times before, but which probably cannot be repeated too often: Read more »