Tag: 10 Questions

10 Questions with Spencer Fluhman

Continuing our work with the 10 Questions team, we are pleased to present Kurt Manwaring’s interview with Spencer Fluhman, Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU and an editor of “To Be Learned is Good: Essays on Faith and Scholarship in Honor of Richard Lyman Bushman.” Manwaring and Fluhman cover a wide range of topics during their discussion, which is well worth reading in full. A couple of highlights that stood out to me include Fluhman describing the mission of the Maxwell Institute: The Institute is a research unit dedicated to religious topics but defined in particular by that intersection between the practice of faith and the rigorous study of it. We ask our scholars to conscientiously serve two audiences: those academic fields interested in the study of religion and the Latter-day Saints themselves, whose religious commitments compel many to care deeply about the broader world of religious ideas and scholarship. We can’t typically write for both audiences at once, so we take care to be clear about who we’re talking to. The two audiences demand different skills and tools. Academic audiences expect specialized language, deep immersion in scholarly literature, and an academic tone. LDS audiences, on the other hand, expect sensitivity to their covenantal commitments, to their regard for some texts and voices having spiritual authority over others, and for writing that is accessible rather than specialized…. Our work with the academy seeks understanding and empathy, for…

10 Questions with Jonathan Stapley

As part of our work with the 10 Questions team, we will be posting later this week on Kurt Manwaring’s upcoming interview with the Maxwell Institute’s Spencer Fluhman. In the meantime, however, we thought we would highlight a great interview 10 Questions recently posted with Jonathan Stapley, bloggernacle regular and author of “The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology” (Oxford University Press). In his interview, Stapley notes of his new book: “[I]n The Power of Godliness, I look at the history and development of core ideas essential to current Mormon identity such as priesthood, authority, and ordinances. I also analyze how women have variously been included and excluded from these concepts, especially in relation to the liturgy of the church. For example, in Nauvoo, men and women who participated in the Temple liturgy while Joseph Smith was alive, referred to themselves as “the priesthood.” Both believers and scholars have struggled to understand what that meant. Moreover many have used historical practice or theology to make arguments about the current ecclesiastical or liturgical structures of the church. My volume is an academic history of Mormonism, and as such it’s intent is simply to understand and analyze the past and contextualize and historicize the present.” When you have a moment, check out the 10 Questions interview and Stapley’s new book, which are both well worth your time.