Quincy D. Newell Presents “Narrating Jane: Telling the Story of an Early African American Mormon Woman ”
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 7 p.m. Logan LDS Tabernacle for the 21st Annual Leonard J. Arrington.The lecture is free and open to the public. Jane Elizabeth Manning James was among the early African American converts to Mormonism. After joining the church in the early 1840s, James remained a faithful member until her death in Salt Lake City in 1908. Although she was wellknown among church members during her lifetime,
James was largely forgotten after her death. However, beginning in about 2000, there was a significant up-tick in non-academic LDS discourse about James. Dr. Newell will analyze this recent talk about Jane, showing that she has become a way for Latter-day Saints to talk about both gender and race in ways that create a usable past for the 21st century.
Inside the Summer 2015 issue, Cory Crawford examines the struggle for female authority in Biblical and Mormon tradition, Mary Bradford remembers the life of Emma Lou Thayne in a moving tribute “Follow the Light, Lulie,” Kim Abunuwara offers reflections on the Provo Tabernacle, and Tracie Lamb explores how her relationship with Buddhism intersects with her Mormon identity. You’ll find several outstanding book reviews, including one of Julie Neuffer’s Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement. And more!
With news about the release of the photo of Joseph Smith’s seer stone, check out this article from the Dialogue archives. Richard Van Wagoner and Steve Walker’s 1982 article “Joseph Smith: ‘The Gift of Seeing'” includes this description: “But by humbling himself, he again found favor with the Lord and was presented a strange ovalshaped, chocolate colored stone, about the size of an egg, but more flat which it was promised should answer the same purpose. With this stone all the present book was translated.”Click to read the entire article.
The issue of gay marriage is at the forefront of many Mormon conversations. As an important corollary to these conversations, Mormons should be aware of Taylor Petrey’s groundbreaking Winter 2011 Dialogue article “Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology.” As he explains: “The issue is not as simple as gay people versus religious groups, as rhetoric on either side often suggests, but it has become increasingly apparent that there is significant overlap of people that identify both as homosexual and religious. Mormon writing on homosexuality often has had a pastoral character, aimed either at easing the transition for those seeking to leave the church or smoothing the way for those who desire to remain with in it.” Click in to read.
With the news that the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary auxiliary presidents would be permanent members of the Temple and Family History, Missionary, and Priesthood and Family Executive Committees, many are remembering the interview that Greg Prince had with Cheiko N. Okazaki about her wish to have more of a voice on these types of committees as recorded in Dialogue: “We asked one time if we could be on the building committee and the temple committee, because sometimes we think, ‘Why did they build it this way?’—because it doesn’t work very well for the women’s needs. And we wanted to be on the temple committee, because there are many things that affect women in the temple. But we were never allowed to be a part of those committees. I think we could help a great deal, but you have to have leaders in the Church who are willing to make that possible.” Click to read the entire interview at this historic time.
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The newest Dialogue podcast features Eric D. Huntsman Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, Coordinator for Near Eastern Studies, Kennedy Center for International Studies, and Affiliated Faculty, Classics and Near Eastern Studies. In this engaging talk, Huntsman looks at “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth:The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation. Dr. Huntsman discusses the extent to which the Jesus of Faith and the Jesus of History match the personal experiences of believing Latter-day Saints with the risen Lord in their study, prayer, and worship.”
The Spring 2015 Issue includes Jared Hickman’s reflections on the practice of reading the Book of Mormon, while Samuel Brunson studies the past and discusses the future of the Church’s financial disclosure and David Mason considers the existential problems of Mormon religious identity. Plus enjoy some of the best of the 2014 Mormon Lit Blitz. You’ll also find poetry by Clifton Jolley and Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen and a slew of thoughtful book reviews. And is it time for the Mormon mystery genre to take off? Art by Amy Jorgensen.
Have you checked out the new Dialogue podcasts?
Sarah Barringer Gordon,
John G. Turner,
and David E. Campbell.
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more intellectual discussions
Quincy D. Newell Presents “Narrating Jane: Telling the Story of an Early African American Mormon Woman ”
Kevin Barney gives his personal experience with “Coming to Terms with Folk Magic in Mormon History” in this post at By Common Consent:
Those of you who know me personally know that I have a very laid back personality. I don’t let much bother me too much, and that includes claims made against the Church. Things roll off my back pretty easily. That may be because I never had to drink from a fire hose; I learned the adult version of Church history, scripture, doctrine and practice slowly, incrementally, over time, and I just don’t remember being particularly bothered by any of those things I learned along the way, with one conspicuous exception: the Salamander Letter….
…This is one reason why I’m flummoxed at the semi-official disapproval of Dialogue. That article is simply outstanding, and anyone who had read only that one piece would not have been surprised in the least by the recent photographs of the seerstone.
Over at Pathoes, find the Mormonism: Future of Faith in America online symposium featuring many friends of Dialogue including
- Armand Mauss, who provides “Seven Predictions” as Mormonism enters its third century. One prediction: “The Church will continue to increase the nature and extent of female participation and leadership in important ecclesiastical roles but will stop short of actual priesthood ordination for women in the foreseeable future. Member advocacy for ordination, when it takes the form of mobilizing political or civic pressure on the leadership, will continue to be met with official resistance, including church discipline.”
- Patrick Mason looks at the “Influence Beyond the Numbers.” He explains “As we consider the future of Mormonism in America, the first fact we must take into consideration is simple demographics: Mormonism is not growing…
Audio recordings of talks from the symposium are available here, with video of Clayton Christensen’s plenary above. Symposium organizers Matt Bowman and Sharon Harris share their thoughts below in a mock interview. We are glad to welcome them once again as guests at BCC.
On May 16, we held a symposium in New York City. Called “Of One Body: The State of Mormon Singledom,” it was designed not as a typical Mormon singles conference (planned to encourage flirting and courtship), but as a serious discussion about the growing numbers of single Mormons and the falling rates of marriage within Mormonism. Both of these trends reflect broad patterns in American culture, but we wanted to discuss what they mean for Mormons in particular.
The newest Dialogue podcast features Eric D. Huntsman Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, Coordinator for Near Eastern Studies, Kennedy Center for International Studies, and Affiliated Faculty, Classics and Near Eastern Studies. In this engaging talk, Huntsman looks at “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth:The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation.”
The 2015 Eugene England Memorial Lecture was held Thursday, March 26th at the Utah Valley Unversity. This year’s speaker was former Dialogue Editor Robert A. Rees who spoke on “Reimagining Restoration: Why Liberalism is the Ultimate Flowering of Mormonism.”
In the Spring 2015 issue due on the website this week, tax law professor Samuel D. Brunson looks at “The Present, Past, and Future of LDS Financial Transparency” and for a limited time, you can read his detailed analysis of the church’s finances for free (a nice tax day perk, if there ever was one).
And on the same theme, be sure to also check out Brunson’s discussion of “Mormonism in the Internal Revenue Code” posted on this Tax Day over at By Common Consent: “Whenever possible on April 15, I like to put together a quick post about some Mormon-related trivia from the tax world. This year’s edition: church financial disclosure.”
The latest Dialogue podcast features Neylan McBaine, founder and editor-in-chief of the Mormon Women Project, a continuously expanding digital library of interviews with LDS women from around the world speaking about her latest book Women at Church. From the Miller Eccles site: “The last several years have offered fertile ground for conversations about women, the Church and how the two intersect. Offering a call for understanding and unity and a path for more local inclusion of women, Neylan McBaine takes a middle ground between insisting all is well and advocating priesthood for women. McBaine will discuss what this middle ground looks like in the Church today and why it is important that we focus our practices to see, hear and include women more fully in our administration and services.
This new Dialogue podcast features Associate Professor of Religious History at Harvard Divinity School David Holland speaking on “Full of Eyes Both Before and Behind: Joseph Smith as American Prophet and Ancient Historian.” From the Miller-Eccles website: “When writing about Joseph Smith, observers almost reflexively invoke the term “incomparable.” The Latter-day Saint prophet can indeed make comparison difficult. And this may be particularly true of his engagement with antiquity. Smith’s forays into the ancient world, from Abrahamic papyri to American Mulekites, often appear so distinctive or peculiar as to resist analogy.
SALT LAKE CITY, January 28, 2015 – The Board of Directors of Dialogue Foundation, publisher of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, has selected Dr. Boyd Jay Petersen to serve as the journal’s next editor. Petersen will succeed Kristine Haglund when her term as editor ends December 31, 2015.
Petersen has taught courses in English and religious and Mormon studies at Utah Valley University since 1995, receiving a Faculty Excellence Award in 2006. As Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies, he has organized conferences on Mormonism and Islam, Mormonism and the Internet, Mormonism and Buddhism, and Mormonism and the environment, among other topics. He has also been a lecturer in the honors program at Brigham Young University. He has published articles and essays in Dialogue, Journal of Mormon History, Irreantum, BYU Studies, FARMS Review and Sunstone. The Mormon History Association awarded him the Best Biography Award for Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life; his most recent book is Dead Wood and Rushing Water: Essays on Mormon Faith, Politics, and Family. He is currently the book review editor for the Journal of Mormon History.
Commenting on his selection, Petersen said: “Dialogue has demonstrated that spirit and intellect are not two separate parts of the human soul that must be shielded from each other. Rather, deep conversation between the two is the only way for each to be fully expressed. Intelligence broadens faith and faith broadens intelligence. My goal is to continue the strong tradition of editorship that has allowed Dialogue to play that role for many thousands of readers, while serving as a venue for Mormonism to engage with the world’s great ideas and debates.”