Author: Adam Miller

Deadline – New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

Just a reminder that the deadline for applications for the First Annual Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology, co-spsonsored by The Mormon Theology Seminar and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, is December 15, 2013.

Tattooed

On his deathbed, Queequeg asks the ship’s carpenter to fashion him a burial canoe. So fashioned, Queequeg demands to lay himself the length of it, testing its virtue. Then, having abruptly remembered something he’d forgotten to do, he decides not to die after all and rises from the grave.

Maxwell Institute Announcements

Ladies and gentlemen, the new Maxwell Institute Blog is now live.  Check out the announcement about the newly reconstituted Mormon Studies Review.

Contraction

I want to understand one thing especially. All my work bends to it. I want to understand the contraction of religious belief as a positive religious phenomenon.

Book of Mormon (Stories) Girl

I’m no longer of the opinion that religion matters because it makes life meaningful. Religion, it seems to me, makes meaning rather the way breathing makes CO2: as leavings, as tailings. That’s fine. Meaning may follow, but it’s meant to be exhaled. If you hold your breath, you’ll suffocate.

Book of Mormon (Afghan) Girl

You thought you were going to get it right. Right. Instead, you’re morphing into that crazy guy who sits on the front row in Sunday School with two hands up and three incompatible opinions. Given your extremity, making you crazy may well be God’s worst best way of saving you. Plan A is out the window. Now, the only way to get there from here is through that.

Exploring Mormon Thought: Benediction

William Blake's "The Ancient of Days"

In linguistics, a word that is only attested once in a text is called a hapax legomenon. In older texts (like Hebrew and Mayan texts), these hapaxes can be especially hard to decipher because that single attestation may be the word’s only occurrence anywhere. Lacking context, it’s hard to tell what a hapax means.

Silas Marner, Far From Home

George Eliot sends Silas Marner packing. Early in the novel, Silas is framed for a theft he didn’t commit (probably by his best friend who also has designs on pinching Silas’ fiancé). Silas appeals to God in his defense, but when the church elders cast lots to divine the truth, the lots say he’s guilty. Betrayed by God and men, Silas is left broken-hearted and faithless.

Curious about Belief

Is the existence of God, for you, an obvious and uncontroversial feature of any common sense way of seeing the world? Has it always been so profoundly and straightforwardly given that you could not deny it? If so, then in what sense would we be right to say that such a belief is either praiseworthy or blameworthy?

Exploring Mormon Thought: Original Sin

William Blake's "The Ancient of Days"

Chapter 4 of Exploring Mormon Thought (Vol. 2) surveys and critiques traditional approaches to the doctrine of original sin. Chapter 5 will give us Ostler’s own approach to the problem. I haven’t read chapter 5 yet (Joe will address this chapter soon), but chapter 4 has got me thinking about original sin.