Author: Melissa

Melissa blogged at Times and Seasons between 2004 and 2005. She teaches at a university in the Northeast.

“This Thing Was Not Done in a Corner”

I was delighted when Noah Feldman accepted my invitation to give the keynote address at Princeton’s Mormonism and American Politics conference because I knew he’d offer a thoughtful and sophisticated outsider’s perspective on these issues. His latest NYT piece, a…

Rough Stone Rolls Into Times and Seasons

Since its release, Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling has been the subject of conference sessions, media reports, bloggernacle essays and academic conversations far and wide. Seeking to engage Bushman in a sustained and interactive conversation about this compelling new biography…

Trading Places (A Roundtable)

Yesterday, four permabloggers here at Times and Seasons made internal announcements that there will be new little blogglings in their homes come next March. Hours before the flurry of “me-too” emails, I’d heard that my sister is also expecting. I…

Would I Have Been the One?

Two weeks ago today I fell off the high step during my aerobics class. Distracted by other thoughts, I miscalculated the height of the step and came down hard on an inverted ankle. It wasn’t pretty. Within seconds my ankle…

Pope’s Personal Papers

I just heard that John Paul II requested that his personal papers be burned. I don’t know if it’s the historian in me or just the fact that I’m a Mormon, but I gasped at this news. I couldn’t help…

A Big Thing?

Jim’s post “A Small Thing” and the comments it elicited reminded me that good Mormons not only can’t have beards, they can’t have tattoos either!

Sacred Harmony

My a capella group, The Longfellow Singers, will present “Sacred Harmony: A Celebration of Worldwide Choral Traditions” this coming Sunday as a benefit concert for the victims of the recent southeast Asia tsunami. We will be singing selections from Renaissance-era…

12 Questions for Philip Barlow

We are pleased to announce Philip Barlow as our next participant in the Twelve Questions series. My initial encounter with Professor Barlow’s work was almost seven years ago as a first year Bible student at Yale Divinity School.

Are Powerful Women at a Disadvantage?

Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Maureen Dowd’s op-ed piece, “Men Just Want Mommy” published in yesterday’s New York Times is getting a lot of attention. I’ve had a half a dozen friends email it to me with notes attached at the bottom…

NEH Seminar on Joseph Smith

Last year in his address to the approximately ten thousand members of the American Academy of Religion, then President Robert Orsi encouraged scholars to expand their research into new areas, among which he explicitly mentioned Mormonism. Scholars interested in pursuing…

January Gym-Joiners

Every year about this time fitness clubs swell with new members. Armed with New Year’s resolutions, people sign expensive contracts and buy new athletic gear in sincere attempts to lose weight or gain muscle as they try to improve their…

The Art of Gift-Giving

Along with all the glorious choral music of the season, which we’ve praised recently at T&S, Christmas is also a time of gift-giving. We make long lists of presents to give to those we love, trying hard to fulfill everyone’s…

What Is Religion?

Ironically, one of the most debated questions in religious studies is the definition of religion. In most disciplines there is at least a general consensus about how to define the subject of inquiry. Biochemistry is the study of the chemical…

An Apology

My thoughts this morning echo the words of a poem by Lula Greene Richards (1849-1944). Lula was the editor of the Woman’s Exponent, a staunch defender of women’s right to vote, to obtain an equal education, and to choose their…

Hives and Honeybees

I remember being confused as a little girl by the words of the song “In Our Lovely Deseret.” I supposed that the word must be “desert” because I had no concept of deseret. Much like the many children who sing…

Taking the Slums Out of the People?

In 1990 Revered John Heinemeier gathered with other local ministers to solve the housing crisis in East Brooklyn. Together they developed an innovative housing program to construct 5,000 single-family housing units designed for lower-income buyers. East Brooklyn Churches (or EBC)…

Bungling the Basics?

Several weeks ago during lunch at a professional conference a colleague told me that the LDS missionaries had knocked on his door recently. I took a deep breath and immediately commenced mental preparations for whatever he was going to ask…

Ambivalence as a Theological Virtue?

In her book, The Religious Imagination of American Women, Mary Farrell Bednarowski suggests that to understand the lived religious experience of American women one must appreciate the ambivalence they experience in their religious traditions. According to Bednarowski this ambivalence is…