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About BHodges

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  1. OK, I never heard back so I chose a new name at random. @Peppermint Patty, you are the one! Please email me (blairhodges at byu dot edu) and we'll arrange the review copy.
  2. Bump for DispensatorMysteriorum. If I don't hear back by next week we'll re-pick!
  3. OK, I assigned each of you a number and ran it through an online number generator. DispensatorMysteriorum's lot was cast. Please send me an email (blairhodges at byu dot edu) with your name and mailing address. I'll dispatch the review copy from Deseret Book. You can review in all those venues you named, but I would especially like you to post a review here on the forum! If you've changed your mind, let me know and I'll cast lots again.
  4. As a term it is as useful as the actual uses it's put to. Meekness and kindness can be incredibly formidable and fierce. In terms of aggression, I've seldom seen defenders of that style acknowledge the downsides such methods carry. Why would their departures be any more remarkable than any departure of any people who were formerly involved with Fair Mormon? What did that have to do with the discussion?
  5. It should already be available on Kindle, but we aren't doing Apple. Sorry, Steve Jobs.
  6. I have an extra review copy of the Maxwell Institute's new study edition of the Book of Mormon, which we published last month together with BYU's Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book. I thought someone from the board here might volunteer to review it for the benefit of everyone else. Please sound off here and I'll pick somebody at random later this week. Has anyone already seen Hardy's earlier Reader's Edition? Still quite useful, but I think this one is much improved. As I've written elsewhere, this edition is the first ever to combine the Church’s current official version of the text (2013) with the results of Royal Skousen’s groundbreaking Book of Mormon Critical Text Project. Footnotes identify important around 200 substantive variants from the original and printer’s manuscripts up through its current English editions. Hardy also thoroughly revised the headings, paragraphing, punctuation, and poetic forms from the Reader’s Edition. The footnotes are somewhat sparse, but deliberately so. They point to intertextual elements, variants, and cross reference the declaration and fulfillment of prophesies. The whole volume is informed by decades of scholarship produced by FARMS, BYU Studies, the Religious Studies Center, the Maxwell Institute, and others. Hardy says the Book of Mormon’s narrative complexity and coherence—highlighted in this edition—offer some of the strongest evidences of its historicity and miraculous translation. It also has newly commissioned charts and appendices to help readers keep straight the names and relationships of various individuals, places, and records, in addition to examples of chiasmus and testimonies from Joseph Smith and other witnesses—including several women—of the text and its translation. Not to mention 20 original pieces of art, woodcuts, by Brian Kershisnik. So who would like the opportunity to review the book here?
  7. Ah. The only Swedish I know is the little red fish variety. "Non-pastoral" is not a technical term. You mentioned two people (I don't know who they are) as promoting pastoral apologetics and intimated that their departure from the church signals that something is wrong with pastoral apologetics however they conceived it. To be more precise I think any apologetics has the potential to be pastoral, and any apologetics which fails to be pastoral, which is to say apologetics that don't attend in charity and empathy to the particular needs of the sheep, is a failure of apologetics.
  8. I don't know what tycker jag means but I am familiar with the concept of association fallacies. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy Have no proponents of non-pastoral apologetics ever left the church or committed misdeeds?
  9. carbon: I like to think that the command to love a neighbor as oneself (sp?) includes the command then to learn to love oneself. Realizing one is a child of God with infinite potential. Easier said than done, but the idea is that God doesn't want us to hate ourselves.
  10. It makes sense, given the founding of Interpreter and Book of Mormon Central, that publications on the topics they are most interested in would decrease in JBMS. An already shallow pool (and I use this metaphor neutrally and not as a negative vale judgment) got more shallow. Also, given the internal politics of a very small field where personal feelings are often bound up with professional actions, publishing in a particular venue became a show of loyalty or disloyalty. In the broader scheme of things the output of FARMS was declining before it ever became enveloped in the Maxwell Institute and was subsequently replaced by the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies. I don't know who the blogger "Gently Hew Stone" is, but they blogged about this decline in 2012 in the wake of Dr. Peterson's removal from the FARMS Review. I don't endorse his views about the changes at the Institute, but he describes a decline preceding 2012 like this : 2003 is a pretty long time before 2012. The main problem I see with the old FARMS model is that it didn't consciously nurture and mentor enough new scholars to participate in the work or carry it forward. Or maybe it tried and no one was interested, or those who were interested lost interest, or whatever. I don't know exactly why, but it seems to me the number of up-and-coming Latter-day Saint scholars interested in pursuing historicity related research paled in comparison with those interested in more recent LDS history (19th and 20th centuries, but mostly 19th). Even at Interpreter, who has been publishing something once a week, a lot of material apparently repeatedly comes from the same people. I haven't run the numbers but I suspect that if you divide up the articles by topic you'll see many of the historicity-related articles are being written by a small group of people. (I'm willing to be corrected on this.) Then at Book of Mormon Central we aren't seeing much new scholarship. And the young people involved there aren't getting PhD's and creating much new research; they're repackaging things from the old FARMS group. They're not gathering or nurturing an actual academic field. So the perception may very well be that the Institute isn't interested, but the reality the Institute's Willes Center continues to seek good work on the Book of Mormon for JBMS, which Joe Spencer edits, and this includes historicity-based or historicity-defending work as your list shows, but that corner of the field isn't yielding a huge crop. I rarely read digital and I have no idea if people would like this in ebook. I guess we'll see how it sells there. Yes, we switched ebook distributors and it looks like the Alma 32 volume slipped through the cracks. The text has been available for free on the Institute website all along and since it was already released in PDF form for free prior to the Institute acquiring it I'm not surprised that you've been the only one sending a query about it. But we've got to get it back on Amazon in both print and digital, so I'm waiting to hear back from the distributor. 4 other titles lack a digital version. I'll let you know when I hear back from the distributor about where they are. Thanks for following up.
  11. For some reason I can't click Like on your post, so consider this a Like. Now if we could convince our friend Scott to soften his heart a bit we'd be in business. 😉
  12. I think that's been one of the main arguments Institute critics have made. This is a subset of the complaints about the FARMS Review, which used to overlap in confusing and unnecessary ways in function with the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Every issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies published since Paul Hoskisson left has included pieces which either argue for or assume ancient historicity. Brant Gardner, Dan Peterson, and Mark Wright (the church's foremost expert on Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon), and Noel Reynolds have contributed great work in this area, for example. Why do critics of the Institute ignore such work? I recall some past conversations with an exasperated Mark Wright, exhausted at continued allegations from a small group of people that the Journal was abandoning historicity-related work. As an associate editor he was frustrated and unfairly represented by people who otherwise would claim to be his friends. Anyone can argue there has either been too much or not enough work in this area at the Institute. That's a subjective judgment. But no one can reasonably or accurately claim that Institute publications have abandoned the topic. Ironically, by "Yeah, but"-ing like this they're the ones ignoring some of the best new scholarship pertaining to the Book of Mormon in ancient settings. Incidentally, Elder Holland didn't mention anything about BoM historicity in his Maxwell lecture. Someone seeking to make him an offender for a word, or perhaps an offender for lack of a word, could have an unfair and unfounded field day with that. His lack of mentioning it doesn't mean people should stop expecting to see more work in that broad and well-trod area in the coming years. It will primarily appear in the Journal and through its main sponsor, the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies. And of course, the Institute's brand new study edition of the Book of Mormon contains entries and appendices defending and contextualizing the ancient setting, historicity, etc. None of that should detract from the paramount spiritual message of the scripture, a message which is also grounded in but not limited to its historical setting.
  13. Right, so the problem is that some people who aren't familiar with the term "apologetics" sometimes get the mistaken impression that the word means "apologizing for being wrong." That's one reason Fair Mormon folks tend to define the word for people at the beginning of conferences, in occasional emails, and in other ways. I agree that neither negative nor positive apologetics are inherently negative in the sense of being "bad" or "wrong." As I said, there were occasional disagreements on the backlist about how best to respond to a particular criticism or critic, questions about how careful volunteers should be about their tone, whether flippant, arrogant, condescending, or cheerful, supportive, empathetic, etc. I don't want to over-inflate my own role; I was a volunteer for FAIR for a handful of years. These discussions predated me. There was a message board, for example, that FAIR folks used to frequent but things got very much heated there too often and IIRC the board decided to part ways with that venue. What I mean by "carrying the day" is that in my view Fair Mormon has striven to be an empathetic organization whose apologetics reflect the charity made incumbent on us by the gospel of Christ. It carries an unfair reputation in some circles as bulldog group out to attack critics of the church and things like that. Personally I don't think the reputation is 100% without past foundation, but the organization has taken great measures to not justify such accusations. I'm sure it's not an easy job, wrangling all the volunteers, including me back in the day! I thought the recent conference had an interesting mix of speakers, as have conferences in years past. I know Scott Gordon and others at FM work hard to include diverse voices. They want to reach a lot of different church members, not all of whom carry the same questions, concerns, or troubles in their hearts. Not every talk will resonate with every member or attendee. I sympathize with that, as not ever Institute offering can reach everyone either. (I'm being an apologist for Fair Mormon at the moment. I hope I'm not being a jerk in the process.😉) Sadly not everyone who has associated with Fair Mormon has remained in the church. The same can be said for FARMS, the Maxwell Institute, Interpreter, and probably most organizations which work for the benefit of the church. Oh excellent, thank you. I know very well who Calmoriah is! Cheers cal!
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