Category: Mormon Review

Enchantment and Disenchantment: Secular Age Round 3

sec age

(Links to Rounds 1 and 2) These next several posts will cover chapters in Parts I-III, which comprise Taylor’s account of the western historical trajectory towards secularity, from the enchanted world of 1500 AD to the disenchanted and pluralistic one of 2000 AD. Overall, Taylor’s historical account challenges the  “subtraction” stories that explain the road to modernity as one in which human beings have “lost, or sloughed off, or liberated themselves from certain earlier, confining horizons, or illusions, or limitations of knowledge” [1]. According to Taylor, this naive and selective view fails to account for the “positive” developments and changes in sensibility, meaning, and social imaginaries that made alternatives (like secular humanism) possible. The “subtraction” of God from the social and cosmic imaginary was merely one element, thought it was not linear or even, and certainly not inevitable. Taylor begins the historical trajectory in chapter 1, the “Bulwarks of Belief,” describing the major elements of the early modern imaginary that had…

MR: Samurai Jesus: A Review of Takashi Miike’s “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”

The Mormon Review vol. 5 no. 1 is presented here, with Jonathon Penny’s review of Takashi Miike’s 2011 film Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai. By Jonathon Penny Open on a gaunt, intelligent looking man—Tsukumo Hanshiro—seeking the indulgence of a retinue of samurai at the palace of a feudal lord. He claims to be a ronin, a lordless samurai, left to wander in poverty after the dishonor and dissolution of his clan. His request: to commit ritual hara-kiri so that, it is explained to us, he might regain some of the honor he has lost.  There is skepticism. Not two months before, Chief Retainer Saito informs him, another ronin from the same clan made the same request. This one, Chijiiwa Motome—younger, more gaunt, and with less bearing—sought an audience with Lord Li, delayed the ritual, fidgeted and fretted.  There was skepticism. Takashi Miike’s resume reads like the inside cover of a pulp novel. He has directed film after film whose English titles,…

MR: Exquisitely Loud and Indelibly Close

The Mormon Review vol. 4 no. 1 is presented here, with Jonathon Penny’s review of Stephen Daldry’s 2012 film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. By Jonathon Penny I’m late with this, as with so much in my dog-eared, half-buttoned, last minute, Subway-sandwiched, twenty-first century life. I wrote the other day, on reflection about the harried nature of workaday (and workanight) life that I was precocious as a child, ambitious, full of expectations for myself and for the world around me bending to my will made holy for a borrowed righteousness and then the sag set in and I lost all of that to work and weekend and the paying of bills and the buying of groceries and clothes—the valid preoccupations of a grown up and the invalid occupations of a man of today that suck the meat and marrow, if I let them, if I forget them see them objects and not tools and not excuses to move about the…

Books of Interest to the LDS Nerd

A few of these are forthcoming, a few have appeared recently. I am compelled to read them all, as soon as I can get to them. Now Available Charles Harrel,“This Is My Doctrine”: The Development of Mormon Theology (Kofford Books) “In this first-of-its-kind comprehensive treatment of the development of Mormon theology, Charles Harrell traces the history of Latter-day Saint doctrines from the times of the Old Testament to the present.” I have my doubts that someone who does not equally control original Biblical sources and LDS history, as well as the vast amounts of secondary literature on historiography, exegesis, etc. can give LDS doctrine a truly comprehensive diachronic treatment, and compress it into 597 pages. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to Harrel, an engineering professor, for making the attempt and I look forward to reading it. Too many LDS labor under the assumption that the status quo sprang fully formed from Joseph Smith. I don’t recall which of my friends said, but…

MR: Death Is Lighter than a Feather: A Review of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with Adam Greenwood’s review of The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. The article is available at: Adam Greenwood, “Death Is Lighter than a Feather: A Review of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce,” The Mormon Review, vol.3 no. 1 [HTML] [PDF] In this essay, Greenwood reads The Great Divorce as an instance of theological fiction, and theorizes the genre in relation to its sisters, science fiction and fantasy. For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, we’d like to issue a renewed request for submissions.  In particular, if you have submitted a piece to the Review in the past but received no response, please consider yourself cordially invited to re-submit.

MR: Groundhog Day

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with Adam Miller’s review of Groundhog Day, directed by Harold Ramis. The article is available at: Adam Miller, “Groundhog Day,” The Mormon Review, vol.2 no. 5 [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, please consider submitting an article to MR.

MR: “Recovering truth: A review of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method”

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with James E. Faulconer’s review of Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer. The article is available at: James E. Faulconer, “Recovering truth:  A review of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method,” The Mormon Review, vol.2 no. 3. [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (”Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, please consider submitting an article to MR.

MR: “You’ll Never Walk Alone: The Mormon Church, Proposition 8, and British Soccer”

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with David K. Jones’s review of You’ll Never Walk Alone by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The article is available at: David K. Jones, “You’ll Never Walk Alone: The Mormon Church, Proposition 8, and British Soccer,” The Mormon Review, vol.2 no. 1 [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, please consider submitting an article to MR.

MR: “Getting Your Hands Dirty”

Mormon Review

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with Russell Arben Fox’s review of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford. The article is available at: Russell Arben Fox, “Getting Your Hands Dirty: Notes on How Mormons (and Everyone) Should Work,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no. 8 [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, please consider submitting an article to MR.

MR: “Music From Across the Divide”

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with a review of the music of Sara Groves by Troy Keller. The article is available at: Troy Keller, “Music From Across the Divide,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no. 7 [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, please consider submitting an article to MR.

MR: “The Romance of Materialism: Notes on Hitchcock’s Vertigo”

A new issue of The Mormon Review is available, with a review of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Vertigo” by Joseph M. Spencer. The article is available at: Joseph M. Spencer, “The Romance of Materialism: Notes on Hitchcock’s Vertigo,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no. 6 [HTML] [PDF] For more information about MR, please take a look at the prospectus by our editor-in-chief Richard Bushman (“Out of the Best Books: Introducing The Mormon Review,” The Mormon Review, vol.1 no.1 [HTML][PDF]). In addition to our website, you can have The Mormon Review delivered to your inbox. Finally, if you have recently read a book, seen a movie, watched a TV show, or bumped up against any other bit of our culture that got your Mormon juices flowing, please consider submitting an article to MR.