Author: Jim F.

Jim Faulconer blogged at Times and Seasons from 2004 to 2007. He currently blogs at Feast Upon the Word and cross-posts lesson material to T&S.

Jim is a professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University, where he holds the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding. He is the husband of Janice Allen, the father of four and grandfather of
eleven. His academic specialty is 20th-century European philosophy, particulary the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and some of his French acolytes. Jim’s hobbies are playing with grandchildren, cooking (and, therefore, also eating), travel, and New Testament studies, and for none of them is there sufficient time.

Welcome Wilfried Decoo

Professor Decoo, a Belgian convert to the Church in 1964 (hah! I beat him by two years), is a professor of French in the French and Italian Department of BYU, where he has been since 1999. However, he continues also…

Be Patient!

Fans of Brandie Siegfried, please be patient. She intended to start blogging last Monday or Tuesday, but as sometimes happens even to professors and bloggers, life got in the way. You can expect her any day now.

Derrida is dead

Perhaps no philosopher of the 20th century caused more of an uproar in the U.S. than Jacques Derrida. Though he was not religious in any standard sense, he understood a great deal about what it means to be religious. Though…

An additional guest

Professor Brandie Siegfried has agreed to take time from her busy writing schedule to guest blog for a couple of weeks. She is a professor in the English Department at BYU, teaching Renaissance literature, early modern women writers, gender studies,…

Sister Manners

Someone needs to write an etiquette book for members of the Church. I’m not up to writing it, but I’m willing to make some of the first contributions.

Spirit and Body

I cleaned the church building the other day, with the other High Priests. My job was to vacuum the chapel. As I was doing so, the organist came in to practice. She plays well, and she played hymns that I…

Sunday School Lesson 39

Lesson 39: 3 Nephi 17-19 Chapter 17 Verses 1-3: Does the Savior think what he has said is easy to understand? Are the things he has taught “plain and simpleâ€?? Why haven’t the Nephites understood him well? In what ways…

12 Questions for Royal Skousen

Royal Skousen, Professor of Linguistics at BYU, is important for at least two reasons. First, he has developed a unique theory of language learning and use based on analogy (see his Analogical Modeling of Language, Analogy and Structure, and Analogical…

Comfort Music

I am not a connoisseur of music, I am an omnivore, and I think I recall Nietzsche pointing out that a person who will eat anything is a person who has no taste. That’s me. There are few kinds of…

Sunday School Lesson 38

Lesson 38: 3 Nephi 12-15 This will be one of the longer sets of notes. I would apologize for their length, but even at this length I have left a great deal unexplored. Though I will continue to post following…

Sunday School Lesson 37

Lesson 37: 3 Nephi 8-11 Chapter 8 Verses 1-23: Why might there have been so much destruction in this hemisphere at the time of the crucifixion and so little destruction in the other?

Fishing

It seems to me that there are academic issues that saints sometimes have difficulties with and that they might be helped if they had “answersâ€? to those questions from LDS academics who have thought about the problems. I can imagine…

Difference, Disagreement, and Contention

If I were a self-disciplined person, I would be preparing my lessons right now and preparing the presentation I’m supposed to give to new faculty tomorrow afternoon. But when we were courting, my wife, then a graduate student in educational…

Some Random European (mostly French) Thoughts

A week and a few days ago, I returned from a trip to Europe, mostly in France. I was at a conference center in a chateau in Normandy, Cerisy-la-salle. The conference was good; its only drawback, for me, was that it was an interdisciplinary conference. I think my presentation and the discussion afterward went well, especially considering the fact that my French is, to put it mildly, barbarous. Contrary to popular mythology, people were not rude about the state of my French. They worked hard to understand me and gave me the benefit of the doubt. I was the only person there for whom English was the mother tongue.

Sunday School Lesson 35

Lesson 35: Helaman 13-16 Chapter 13 Verses 1,ff: Does the Lord threaten the Nephites through Samuel, telling them to “repent or elseâ€?? If so, how do we understand such a threat? How does it differ from bullying? If not, how…

Sunday School Lesson 34

Lesson 34: Helaman 6-12 Chapter 6 Verse 3: How does the attitude of the members of the Church compare here with Moroni’s attitude? Verse 9: As soon as we read that the Nephites and Lamanites “became exceedingly richâ€? what do…

Sunday School Lesson 33

I’m back from a couple of weeks during which the internet wasn’t accessible–altogether, a very nice experience. This is the lesson that I will be teaching tomorrow, and I will try to get next week’s lesson out early in the…

Sunday School Lesson 32

Lesson 32: Alma 53-63 Many people find it difficult to read the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. Though I certainly understand why they have difficulty, for me the most difficult chapters are those on war at the end…

Nice people

Today I had to repair our sprinkler system–something unneeded by those in large cities living in apartments, or those in places with rainfall, but something absolutely essential living in Utah, especially if you’re leaving for two weeks and would like…

We are Weird

About a week ago I went to the wedding of one of my nieces. As I sat waiting for the wedding to begin and watching people arrive, I suddenly had a glimpse of how we look to many who either…

Sunday School Lesson 31

Lesson 31: Alma 43-52 The manual gives this overview of the material in the lesson: a. Alma 43–44. Led by Zerahemnah, the Lamanites come to battle against the Nephites, seeking to bring them into bondage. The Nephites, led by Moroni,…

Sunday School Lesson 30

Lesson 30: Alma 39-42 Why is the lengthy discussion of resurrection in chapters 40-31 addressed to Corianton? Why does that part of Alma’s sermon come before his discussion of the punishment of sin (chapter 42)?

Sunday School Lesson 29

Lesson 29: Alma 36-39 Alma 35:15-16 explains why Alma says the things in these chapters to his sons, Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton: because he grieved for the hardness of the hearts of the people to whom he and others had…

My Pioneer Ancestors

I joined the Church in February of 1962, as a teenager living in San Antonio, Texas, where my father was stationed at the time. (He was in the Army, studying hospital administration at Fort Sam Houston, in a Baylor extension…

Sunday School Lesson 28

Lesson 28: Alma 32-35 Warning: this set of study questions is long, probably the longest I’ve done so far. If you bother to go through them, I think you’ll see why. If you don’t, it probably doesn’t matter why, but…