Times & Seasons is pleased to welcome Michael Haycock as our latest guest blogger. Michael was primarily raised in Northwest Ohio and served his mission in Argentina. After graduating with a B.A. in political science from Yale University, he received an M.A. in religion (American religious history) from Claremont Graduate University, where he wrote his thesis on 19th century Mormon masculinity. Having seen the academic job market, he spent several years working for small lobbying firms in Washington, D.C., before accepting a position earlier this year with Georgetown University’s Campus Ministry. He lives in Northern Virginia, where he continues to engage on the periphery of LDS academia.
Times & Seasons hopes you will join us in welcoming our latest guest blogger, Bryan Hickman, for his guest-blogging stint with us (see here for his prior posts). Bryan is a semi-reformed Utah Mormon (whatever that means) doing his best to rein in the knee-jerkedness of his worldview (whatever that means). He went to school in Utah, receiving both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science from Utah State University. He then bravely trekked eastward in search of a law degree, a wife, and theaters that show independent films, eventually finding all three in Washington, DC. Earlier this year, after more than 12 years slaving away as a staffer in the U.S. Senate, Bryan recently set out on his own to become a freelance writer — like that’s his actual job. Since then, he’s been doing mostly policy writing for think tanks, trade associations, and corporations, while also spending way too much time on projects no one is paying him to write. For the T&S faithful, he hopes to express his semi-generic views about the principles of Mormonism as they relate to film and pop culture in a manner that some will find interesting.
Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Sam Brunson as our latest guest blogger. Sam grew up in the suburbs of San Diego and served a Brazilian mission what seems like a millennium ago. He went to BYU as an undergrad and found that a freshman saxophone performance major made his eventual English major look like a practical choice. After toying with teaching critical theory or becoming an author, he did what all good English majors do and chose law school. At Columbia, he met his wife, got a degree, and got a job as a tax associate at a New York firm. Several years later, he managed to escape the clutches of big law and landed a job teaching tax and business law at Loyola University Chicago. While Sam, sadly, does not play much saxophone these days, he and his wife do have two beautiful girls with whom he loves to spend time when he’s not pondering important questions like whether the transactional net margin method of transfer pricing constitutes an arm’s length price within the interquartile range.
Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Brad Strum as a guest blogger. Brad lives and works in the DC area as an economist, where he has been since earning a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University. Before grad school, he served in the Russia, Rostov-na-Donu mission and attended Brigham Young University, earning undergraduate degrees in economics and mathematics. Going back even further, Brad grew up in a military family, living in a number of places around the U.S. When he isn’t working, Brad enjoys many activities, including tennis, biking, dancing, reading, discussion groups, and spending time with family and friends.
While Rana Lehr-Lehnardt’s guest run continues, Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our next guest blogger, Ralph Hancock. Ralph is a long-time professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Calvin and the Foundations of Modern Politics, as well as of numerous edited volumes, articles and chapters. His forthcoming book, The Responsibility of Reason (Rowman & Littlefield), addresses the meaning and limits of reason through a triangulation involving de Tocqueville, Heidegger and Strauss. Ralph has also translated three books (including one with his son Nathaniel) and numerous chapters and articles from French, and has organized and directed more than a dozen scholarly conferences and colloquia concerning philosophical and religious dimensions of public issues. He holds degrees from BYU and from Harvard University. Ralph is also the founder and president of the John Adams Center for The Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs, which aims to resist the narrowing of the notion of “reason” to the blind expansion of certain purported “rights” and instead encourage the exploration of the philosophical and religious dimensions of public issues so as to enrich individual understanding and public debate. Just this past weekend, the John Adams Center sponsored an academic symposium in Duck Beach, North Carolina on “Mormons and the Public Square.” As if this was not enough, Ralph recently helped to found the online journal SquareTwo, which focuses on LDS thought concerning the important issues of the world…
After reading the post from a couple days ago about optimal tithing rates, I started to think about some of the unanswered questions that have come to mind while I’ve been playing Brick Breaker in Elder’s Quorum pondering the mysteries of the Gospel. It seems like this audience might be able to offer some differing perspectives on these conundrums that, up to now, have kept me at a loss. A lot of you seem to be much smarter than I am. Have at them.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I should talk about in my inaugural post on this blog. Quite honestly, when I agreed to do a stint as a guest blogger, I thought it would be pretty easy. But, lately, it seems that all my Mormonism-related thoughts have been trite and meaningless. For example, I considered drafting a post complaining about one of the teachers Elders Quorum and his refusal to teach out of the manual. But, honestly, I think that post would have just ended up being a rant about a quorum discussion outlining the evils of facial hair (true story, by the way) and I don’t think that’s what the faithful readers of this blog are looking for.
Even as our current guest bloggers, Rory Swenson and Bruce Webster, are still wrapping up their guest posting stints, Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our next guest blogger, Bryan Hickman.