Philosophy and Theology

Why We Suffer

July 6, 2008 | 53 comments
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I recently finished Bart D. Ehrman’s latest book, God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question–Why We Suffer (HarperCollins, 2008). Like all Ehrman’s books, it is both informative and troubling. Read more »

Religious Pragmatism

December 23, 2007 | 6 comments
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Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” In various writings, he expanded that claim, contrasting a natural law approach to justifying legal and ethical rules of conduct with his own more modest approach rooted in history and experience and falling under the broad perspective labeled pragmatism. Since religion in general and Mormonism in particular have many rules of conduct for which a variety of justifications grounded in natural law, experience, and history are held out, Holmes’ approach may shed some light on how we do this. Read more »

Summer Seminar update

August 8, 2007 | no comments
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For those interested in the BYU summer seminar, I’ve revised the post, adding the titles of and abstracts for the papers. Read more »

BYU Summer Seminar

August 6, 2007 | 11 comments
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The annual summer symposium, this year “Joseph Smith and His Times,” will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2007. The symposium will feature papers by twelve summer seminar fellows on the theme “Mormon Thinkers, 1890-1930,” covering topics ranging from the influence of Herbert Spencer on Mormon thought to Mormonism and Modernity. Read more »

Why a Second Coming?

February 22, 2007 | 25 comments
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It might seem that there are few Hegelians in the world today. Read more »

Preserving the Veil from Survey Data

February 6, 2007 | 49 comments
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Suppose I find that being Mormon raises income, makes your children nicer, and does all sorts of wonderful things. In fact, suppose God blessed every person who converted instantly and spectacularly with beautiful hair and perfect teeth. Read more »

Science and Nihilism

December 17, 2006 | 45 comments
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Santa-god and the Second Naivete

November 27, 2006 | 58 comments
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I spent all of September and a good part of October finishing an essay on community for a journal on the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, and it nearly killed me. Read more »

Who took the LD out of LDS?

June 28, 2006 | 97 comments
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-or- What ever happened to the good ol’ last days? -or- Where have all the millennialists gone? Read more »

History and Scripture

June 24, 2006 | 65 comments
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And Justice for All

March 15, 2006 | 6 comments
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I apologize in advance for writing about a topic that is at least closely related to, if not the same as Nate’s. But it is his fault. He made me start thinking about the question of freedom and its relation to justice. Read more »

The Quotidian

February 20, 2006 | 24 comments
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Hermeneutics

February 7, 2006 | 50 comments
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That’s a 25 cent word if there ever was one, something for college kids to show Mom and Dad to prove they got something for their money, something a grad student to lord it over others with in the commons. Read more »

Dear Jane

January 26, 2006 | 60 comments
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Dear Jane, I don’t know you—at least I don’t think I do—but I have been struck by your willingness to speak openly and honestly about your situation. My Sikh friends speak of “seekers.” You are genuinely a seeker and, so, a person deserving of respect, including the respect of response. However, I haven’t had anything to say in response until now when you ask, “Does the gospel make sense (comment 23)?” Read more »

Eternal Progression and Retrogression

January 18, 2006 | 170 comments
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If there is progression, there may also be retrogression; if there is good, there may be evil. Everything has its opposite. (John A. Widtsoe, Rational Theology, Chapter 15) Read more »

God’s Foreknowledge or Lack Thereof

January 11, 2006 | 208 comments
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Foreknowledge vs. free will Read more »

Theology and Idolatry

November 8, 2005 | 25 comments
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Let me present a sketch–though only a sketch and a very broad one at that–of how one might think about theology, both about a problem with it and one of the possible responses to that problem. Read more »

Thinking about the Trinity

October 20, 2005 | 74 comments
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It is hardly news to this crowd that Mormons don’t accept the traditional understanding of the Godhead, the Trinity. Read more »

Think, Brethren, Think!

June 14, 2005 | 22 comments
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Brigham Young has many wonderful tidbits scattered throughout his years as prophet. A friend pointed out the following snippet: Read more »

Ricoeur Dies

May 23, 2005 | 4 comments
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Paul Ricoeur, Christian philosopher, friend of Emmanuel Levinas, colleague of Jacques Derrida, is dead. Read more »

The Order of Things

April 24, 2005 | 27 comments
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My discussion of belief and practice has in its background a larger discussion concerning what it means to be religious. Read more »

Belief and Practice

April 24, 2005 | 7 comments
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I have been carrying on an argument with Nate on one of his posts (## 5 and 7) and in his responses to one of Blake’s posts ( #23) –sort of. Read more »

The Sway of Philosophy

March 17, 2005 | one comment
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As I see students get excited about Heidegger or Wittgenstein or some other philosopher and the insights into their own lives and the gospel that come with that excitement, I remember my first year or so in graduate school. Read more »

Petitionary Prayer

December 26, 2004 | 32 comments
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If we remember that the Father already knows our needs and desires, then the idea of prayer is strange. Read more »