Find conference coverage at By Common Consent that included real-time coverage from the Conference Center, photos, and lots of discussion, both serious and silly, in the comment section. Did any announcements top the mission age change? Did anyone reference recent political discussions? Did a woman say a prayer? You’ll find somebody talking about it at BCC. Twitter updates also available throughout the weekend at https://twitter.com/DialogueJournal and http://twitter.com/ByCommonConsent. Join us!
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The spring issue brings a history of Mormon cursings, a thoughtful treatment of the problem of emotional abuse in the church, and a nuanced discussion of “Why the True Church Cannot Be Perfect.” In Personal Voices, the conclusion of Scott Abbott’s memorial essay for his brother “Immortal for Quite Some Time.” We’re also thrilled to publish an interview with National Book Award Winner Andrew Solomon. The issue also has great fiction from James Goldberg, and a slew of excellent book reviews including a look at the first two journal volumes from the Joseph Smith Papers Project.
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Dialogue Spring 2011 Issue is now released to the open archive wherein Samuel Brown studies the theological implications of the early Mormon chains of belonging. Alan Michael Williams also analyzes some of the disjuncts between Mormonism and queer theory. Julie Smith reviews Grant Hardy’s Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide. Includes poetry by Timothy Liu. Fiction by Levi Peterson and Ryan Shoemaker. Finally, W. Paul Reeve offers a tender funeral sermon for his sister: “That the Glory of God Might be Manifest.”
In this new podcast “C.S. Lewis and Mormonism,” Book Review Editor Blair Hodges joins Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and other panelists Mahonri Stewart and Katie Langston in discussing “Lewis’s life and writings and impact both in religious conversation at large as well as in their own lives. Especially within their own lives and spiritual journey.”
Board member Patrick Mason discusses the ethical responsibility of religious people in looking at unmanned drones for The Christian Century. He opines ”
“The latest development in our capacity to kill ever more people from an ever more distance is unmanned, armed drones. Since 9/11, the U.S. military and intelligence communities have dramatically increased their reliance on drones for surveillance and “targeted killings” of enemy combatants. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in these supposedly “surgical” strikes, including at least 176 children.
While experts debate the utility, strategic value, morality and legality of drone attacks, Christians have historical and theological reasons to join the swelling chorus of critics of drone warfare. Notwithstanding the tremendous diversity of Christian views on war, peace and the state more generally, the very phrase ‘targeted killing’ should make every Christian cringe.”
After looking at “The King James Bible and the Future of Missionary Work” for Dialogue last summer, Grant Hardy now looks at the recent scriptural changes for Faith Promoting Rumor at Patheos, lamenting that accuracy has been unfortunately delayed in “The 2013 Adjustments to the Book of Mormon.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“…So for the Book of Mormon, the 2013 adjustments are a holding pattern. I look forward to the day when the Church will return to trajectory set in 1981 of “bring[ing] the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Perhaps in that future, more fully revised edition, we will also get indications of the original, longer chapter divisions (since the original manuscript suggests that those breaks were written on the Gold Plates, and hence were intended by Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni), and maybe even a return to paragraphs—the formatting of the Book of Mormon during Joseph Smith’s lifetime.”
Title: Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology: Essays in Honor of David L. Paulsen When it comes to academic engagement with philosophy and theology, Mormonism largely lacks two things: People and place. Mormons who are interested in making a comfortable living typically don’t seek higher education in these areas. The Church’s schools, seminaries and institute’s focus more on devotional approaches to the faith. Such circumstances help explain why some of the most sustained work in recent Mormon theologizing and philosophizing has occurred in interfaith settings, which can provide interlocutors and institutions for participation and publication. When the topic of Mormon/Christian interreligious dialog arises, people are likely to think of Stephen E. Robinson’s How Wide the Divide, or Robert Millet’s books attempting rapprochement with various Evangelical scholars, books published mostly by non-Mormon presses. David L. Paulsen’s name is less likely to be recognized by the average Mormon than Robinson or Millet, but it is arguable that Paulsen has done more than any currently-living Mormon scholar in advancing sustained and rigorous interfaith exchanges. The scary and valuable thing about exchanges is that everyone usually departs changed in some sense.
Drawing from his book, The J. Golden Kimball Stories—the first scholarly analysis of J. Golden Kimball stories in their cultural, psychological, and historical context—professor Eric A. Eliason shares and elucidates old favorites, as well as some little known but quite delightful “Uncle Golden” yarns.
In this quirky autobiographical biography of Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet, writer Jane Barnes offers an overview of Smith’s life intertwined with her own life experiences of love, loss and death.
Barnes became acquainted with Mormonism largely through her work on the PBS documentary, The Mormons. Hearing stories about Joseph Smith, researching the works of Fawn Brodie and Richard Bushman, meeting with the LDS missionaries, all of these things drew out Barnes’s deeply felt religious need (261). She interweaves her interpretation of Smith with her own life experiences—leaving her family to pursue a lesbian relationship gives her a different view of Smith’s socially deviant polygamy, for example. She is struck to discover her own Mormon roots, ancestors who were present at key turning points in the Mormon story.
Title: Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theolog
I watched Groundhog Day the other night. I’ve owned the DVD for years but never tore the plastic wrapping until Adam Miller put a bug in my ear via one of his theological essays. (It was just as good as I remembered it!) Miller, the theological film critic. I laughed when Phil, Bill Murray’s character, punched Ned Ryerson in the face at a busy intersection and I teared up as he fruitlessly pummeled the chest of a dying homeless man in a freezing alleyway. “Come on, pops, come on pops, don’t die on me.” Watching Phil struggle through incomprehension, laugh at absurdity, and find joy in relationships, reminded me a lot of reading Miller’s book. I’d already read great reviews of it, I couldn’t wait to get a copy. But I hit many more brick walls than I anticipated. This deceptively thin volume will take much more of your time than you might think. It felt at times like the alarm clock kept hitting 6:00 AM, February 2, and I was in for another round of difficulty. Not that all the essays were the same, but that they were each difficult in their own way. It’s way above my level to feel confident in doing this, but my review is an attempt to help readers like me have a better chance at making it through the book.
The writing, production, and responses associated with The God Who Weeps reveal something of the multiplicity of “Mormonisms.” In this podcast, Terryl and Fiona discuss some of the ways in which we construct our faith identity, and how we might rethink the interconnections of Mormonism as an institution, a community, a belief structure, and a devotional template.
In a departure from our usual format, this podcast is a recording of a recent presentation given by Dr. Gordon to the Orange County, California, Miller Eccles Study Group. The subject of her presentation is “The Legalization of Utah for Statehood.”
In this new podcast “C.S. Lewis and Mormonism,” Book Review Editor Blair Hodges joins Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and other panelists Mahonri Stewart and Katie Langston to discuss “Lewis’s life and writings and impact both in religious conversation at large as well as in their own lives. Especially within their own lives and spiritual journey.”
For more on C.S. Lewis and how he influences Mormon thought, see Blair Hodges’ Dialogue article “‘All Find What They Truly Seek’: C. S. Lewis, Latter-day Saints, and the Virtuous Unbeliever”
“This particular moment reveals something new in that …the questions American observers are asking from the outside are more similar to the ones Mormons are confronting on the inside.” – Kristine Haglund
The 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney was accompanied by unprecedented attention to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dubbed by Newsweek Magazine as the ‘Mormon Moment,’ The Book of Mormon Musical, California’s Proposition 8, and the elevated profile of prominent Latter-day Saints provided a unique opportunity to observe the successes and challenges of this dynamic religious tradition. The lecture and panel featured scholars addressing issues related to the rise of Mormonism and the forces that have shaped its development as a distinctive Christian faith.
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