Hello all. My thanks for Nate for inviting me (if only for a while) to participate in this blog, and thanks for the introduction Kaimi. Speaking of such, I notice that Times and Seasons started off without any general explanations or identifying comments. Is that a policy, or just because it was assumed that most everyone who might read this blog would know who all the participants are? Either way, I feel foolish jumping into a conversation without doing a little of the usual sacrament-meeting-“let me tell you a little bit about myself”-routine. So anyway…my name’s Russell Arben Fox; I’m married to Melissa Madsen Fox; we have two daughters, with a third due in about two weeks. I live in Jonesboro, AR, and teach political philosophy and other stuff at Arkansas State University. I’m originally from Spokane, WA; my wife is from Ann Arbor, MI; we met and married while students at BYU, which I attended from 1987-1994, with a break in there for a mission to South Korea. We’ve lived in the southern U.S. for either 2 1/2 or 8 1/2 years now, depending on if you include the Virginia suburbs of D.C. (where we lived while I worked on my Ph.D. at Catholic University of America) in “the South.” Everything else you might want to know about me or my family can be found at either of the links Kaimi provided. Ok, that’s enough. Kaimi’s post on gay…
Utah 3-BYU 0
Hierarchy of Sins?
Sacred and Profane
In the spirit of getting some content on this site, I offer the following from the archives of A Good Oman: A thought on First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake v. Salt Lake City Corporation, 308 F.3d 1114 (2002), the Salt Lake City Main Street case: In his wonderful book The Sacred and the Profane, Eliade discusses the idea of sacred space. According to Eliade one of the things that religion does is orient the believer in the cosmos. It does this by interrupting the normal flow of space with sacred places — shrines, temples, etc. — that mark points of reference for man’s relationship to the divine and his place in the world. Mormon thinkers such as Hugh Nibley have used this concept to understand the place of the temple in Mormon theology and religious experience. It is the place where human beings ritually ascend into the presence of God, and thus marks the place where the sacred interrupts the plane of profane space. The temple then acts as an axis mundi, providing an orienting point within that profane space. (Think of the way that all of the streets in the towns of Mormondom are measured from either the temple or the tabernacle.) When the LDS Church purchased Main Street in Salt Lake City, it turned it into a plaza and broke down the wall that separated the Salt Lake Temple (arguably the most sacred structure in Mormonism) from…
When I was growing up in Osseo, Wisconsin in the 1970s, I couldn’t wait to leave for college. (The world looks awfully big and exciting from Osseo.) Although I had designs on some California schools, my best friend, Mike O’Neill, somehow convinced me to attend Brigham Young University, even though I was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During my first year, I watched Jim McMahon have one of the best individual college football seasons ever, and saw Danny Ainge win the John R. Wooden Award. I also read the Book of Mormon for the first time, and nothing was ever the same for me after that. During my second year at BYU, I was baptized into the Church, and one year later I was called to serve in the Austria Vienna Mission, which no longer exists (sniff, sniff). After returning from my mission, I met my wife, Sue Mumford, who served a mission in Sweden. We became friends by discussing our missions, and we hope to serve together someday. We have six children. The first was born on Mike’s birthday, so we named him Neill. Unfortunately, Neill was born with a rare neurological disorder called Werdnig-Hoffman disease, and he died after only three months. Shortly thereafter, Sue and I left Utah with heavy hearts so that I could attend the University of Chicago Law School. Although our doctors had advised against having more…
Julie M. Smith
I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, Derrick, an electrical engineer. We have three boys: Simon (’98), Nathan (’01), and Truman (’04). We are a homeschooling family and I also teach at the LDS Institute here in Austin. I have a BA in English from UT Austin and an MA in Biblical Studies (Theology) from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where I specialized in the study of women in the New Testament. I wrote my thesis on Mark 14:3-9, which I explored from literary and feminist perspectives to determine how the story teaches the audience about Jesus’s identity. I wrote a book, Search, Ponder, and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels. It contains 4,000 questions (no answers) designed to get the LDS reader to really think about the scriptures and to introduce the major findings of biblical studies to the general reader. I like to read, buy books, and go out for ethnic food. (Edit this page).