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Bill Hamblin

Mormon Studies, Without The Rose-Colored Glasses

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My thoughts on the topic can be found on my web page.

http://mormonscriptureexplorations.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/mormon-studies-without-the-rose-colored-glasses/

It's took long to post entirely, so I've made a link there to a pdf.

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I have a few masculine type comments to this.

1.

inept bureaucratic decree
I sustain BYU's BOT as prophets, seers, and revelators, and I don't appreciate you referring to them in this way.

2.

the magnitude of sheer nincompoopery that

passes itself off as serious academic scholarship at the annual national meeting of the American

Academy of Religion.

What's your point of reference of good academic scholarship? A medical doctor's100 page article on a guy who runs a web site most people have never heard of? A computer programmer's explanation of the Book of Abraham? This? http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=13&num=1&id=338

3. You can ignore my first two points if you wish, but this is a serious inquiry. You seem to be all over the place with your views and fears of Mormon Studies. First you describe it as something that only non-Mormons and non-believers will do, and it will be completely secular.

However, this secularist assumption also presents a drastic, even fatal limitation to the study of

religion. Imagine a scholar of Beethoven, who studies his life, German society of his age, the

Hamblin: Mormon Studies 2 Jul 29, 2012

physics of the instruments of the period, the qualities of the ink and paper on which he wrote his

scores, but never bothers to actually listen to Beethoven’s music.

Personally, I find it much more interesting to read a book by a

believing Hindu than to read a book by a secular scholar about Hinduism.

But then you conclude by saying that it will be Mormons doing this work.

Furthermore, for the most part, only Mormons--or their marginalized and ex-Mormons

counterparts--actually do Mormon studies.

I think you did a poor job defining what Mormon Studies is and what it will be in the future. Maybe you could give a few examples?

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I have a few masculine type comments to this.

1. I sustain BYU's BOT as prophets, seers, and revelators, and I don't appreciate you referring to them in this way.

There is no evidence that the Board of Trustees had anything to do with Dan's dismissal as editor for the Maxwell Institute, nor in Bradford's decision for the Institute and its employees to cease apologetics.

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There is no evidence that the Board of Trustees had anything to do with Dan's dismissal as editor for the Maxwell Institute, nor in Bradford's decision for the Institute and its employees to cease apologetics.

When it comes to an institution, an act which is not retracted is presumed to have been made with full authority. Particularly so where there was a statement made to the press which ordinarily requires approval of the office of the President.

Thus, we must presume the actions have the approval of the Board of Trustees.

You say there is no professional journal of Mormon Studies. The Claremont Journal of Mormon Studies doesn't count? And as much as I disagree with much of Dialogue I think that counts as well.

Edited by Bob Crockett

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There is no evidence that the Board of Trustees had anything to do with Dan's dismissal as editor for the Maxwell Institute, nor in Bradford's decision for the Institute and its employees to cease apologetics.

There is no evidence that they weren't involved. And they are typically involved with these types of decisions.

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Thus, we must presume the actions have the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Why must we presume this? I think it is safer not to make any presumptions. The church rarely publicly talks about internal decisions where individuals are affected. For all we know they are looking into it and anything being done is being done privately.

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What's your point of reference of good academic scholarship?

Your knee-jerk reaction to his article perhaps? LOL.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Your knee-jerk reaction to his article perhaps? LOL.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

My reply is Bill Hamblin's point of reference for good scholarship?

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My reply is Bill Hamblin's point of reference for good scholarship?

Doesn't the thought make reason aghast on a number of levels? ;)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Doesn't the thought make reason aghast on a number of levels? ;)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I have no idea what point you're trying to make here, and I doubt anyone else here does, other than that you're being snarky and dodgy.

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I have no idea what point you're trying to make here, and I doubt anyone else here does, other than that you're being snarky and dodgy.

Yep. Crowding your turf a bit inn't he?

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I have no idea what point you're trying to make here, and I doubt anyone else here does, other than that you're being snarky and dodgy.

My point was about irony, and you again just unwittingly substantiated it with your projection.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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My point was about irony, and you again just unwittingly substantiated it with your projection.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I don't see any irony. I've never passed myself off as an academic or tried to publish any of my work in a scholarly journal. So when comparing scholarly work with other scholarly work, there would be no irony in using me as an example. Right?

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I don't see any irony. I've never passed myself off as an academic or tried to publish any of my work in a scholarly journal. So when comparing scholarly work with other scholarly work, there would be no irony in using me as an example. Right?

That wasn't exactly what I had in mind. No one is accusing you of being scholarly, nor claiming that you had. Rather, it was the nonacademic way (snarky, amateurish, flippant, etc.) you went about questioning Hamblin's point about serious academics, and this under the guise of "serious inquiry".

It then had also to do with your snarky and dodgy response to my enlightening question, and your follow-up accusations about me being snarking and dodgy, and you projecting your inability to see my point onto the rest of the thread readers, when clearly at least selek1 did.

Irony seems as pathological to you as your inability to detect your irony. LOL

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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That wasn't exactly what I had in mind. No one is accusing you of being scholarly, nor claiming that you were. Rather, it was the nonacademic way (snarky, amateurish, flippant, etc.) you went about questioning Hamblin's point about serious academics, and this under the guise of "serious inquiry".

It then had also to do with your snarky and dodgy response to my enlightening question, and your follow-up accusations about me being snarking and dodgy, and you projecting your inability to see my point onto the rest of the thread readers, when clearly at least selek1 did.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

All that just to avoid the question. :)

I'm not academic, nor did I ever pretend to be. So if you think that precludes me from commenting on anything that has to do with academic journals or scholarly pursuits, that's fine. You don't have to reply. I think though my approach was clearly non-academic, I had some good points.

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I think the brethren were being kind to Peterson, Hamblin, et al.

Here's my theory. Delhin called the GA to complain about the hit piece. The GA conferred with the Maxwell Institute leaders, President Samuelson, and the key figures on the BOT that are involved with this. The poor scholarship and academic quality of the MI represented by the three articles I reference earlier in this thread came to light and it finally caught the attention of the decision makers on the BOT. Throw in Skousen's theory on a 17th century translation of the BOM, and the brethren were frankly embarrassed by all this.

They decide to fire Peterson, Hamblin, Smith, but word it in a gentle way "we're moving away from Mormon Apologetics and towards Mormon Studies" when the reality is that the type of material in terms of content likely won't change at all, they just want to increase the professionalism and the scholarship quality.

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I sustain BYU's BOT as prophets, seers, and revelators, and I don't appreciate you referring to them in this way.

And I resent your incompetent, unqualified and undocumented implication that the recent deplorable action at the Maxwell Institute was mandated by the highest councils of the Church.

I've said it twice before on this board; I'll repeat it again here. I support the Brethren, but I am used to receiving their counsel through appropriate priesthood channels or clearly given from the pulpit or authorized Church publications, not through conjecture or whispered insinuations.

_______________

Scott Lloyd, a proud consumer of Chick-fil-A food since the attempted boycott/intimidation/suppression of July 2012

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Why must we presume this? I think it is safer not to make any presumptions. The church rarely publicly talks about internal decisions where individuals are affected. For all we know they are looking into it and anything being done is being done privately.

It is a legal presumption. But, even so, it is a common sense thing.

Institution takes an action. Makes a statement to the press supporting the action. Nobody in the administration or the governing board protests, calls for a hearing or entertains an appeal. The institution has spoken.

It's like when the September Six were excommunicated. Is there any doubt that the church supported the decision of local authorities, yet there was nothing said about it.

And I resent your incompetent, unqualified and undocumented implication that the recent deplorable action at the Maxwell Institute was mandated by the highest councils of the Church.

Whereas there is nothing one way or the other to say that the decision was approved in advance by the Board of Trustees, the later BYU press contact and continuing silence thereafter has the same effect -- ratification of what had been done.

I like Dr. Peterson a lot. But the writing is more than on the wall. It has the imprimatur of the institution, a signature below it. One may argue that the move has little meaning, in that BYU did not intend to eliminate apologetics, but the reality is that those who were chiefly responsible for steering that ship have been turned overboard. That much is known, and it must be presumed that the institution approves it.

Edited by Bob Crockett

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I agree that many religious studies scholars are agnostic, even atheist. Others are believers, and come from many religious backgrounds. Some are believers in their own faith tradition, but agnostic as to others. Others are exclusivists, believing theirs is the only true way to God or to salvation; what they bracket when they study another religion is their belief that the other religion is false. I suppose some exclusivist religious studies scholars don't even bracket that--they study other religions assuming them to be false, sort of like Mormon Research Ministry.

I am curious what the best way is for a faithful Mormon to study other religions. Should there be any bracketing of belief or disbelief in studying, say, other forms of Christianity? If others study Mormonism, do we wish them to study it from the standpoint of their disbelief, or do we wish them to "bracket" their nonbelief? How does one converse with someone who does not bracket his/her disbelief? Or his/her exclusivist belief? Is it wrong to study another religion with an open mind to the possibility it might be true (or might not be)? Is it wrong to hold dialogues with that as the ground rule?

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And I resent your incompetent, unqualified and undocumented implication that the recent deplorable action at the Maxwell Institute was mandated by the highest councils of the Church.

I've said it twice before on this board; I'll repeat it again here. I support the Brethren, but I am used to receiving their counsel through appropriate priesthood channels or clearly given from the pulpit or authorized Church publications, not through conjecture or whispered insinuations.

_______________

Scott Lloyd, a proud consumer of Chick-fil-A food since the attempted boycott/intimidation/suppression of July 2012

I disagree, based on the level of involvement the BOT has on other high profile decisions at BYU. And on my belief that the BOT is not incompetent in its management of BYU, allowing maverick, middle level managers to bungle things so badly.

But if I'm wrong and you're right, I'm sure it will all get sorted out quickly, and once President Samuelson and the BOT have a chance to review what that maverick Jerry Bradford did, that Peterson will be restored to his position.

Edited by robuchan

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Whereas there is nothing one way or the other to say that the decision was approved in advance by the Board of Trustees, the later BYU press contact and continuing silence thereafter has the same effect -- ratification of what had been done.

I earnestly disagree. There are untold numbers of day-to-day decisions made by managers of individual Church-owned entities that could not properly be viewed as carrying the implied endorsement of the Church or its leaders.

Let's take a couple of examples.

Day in and day out, the Deseret News takes positions on its editorial page, positions that may or may not reflect the views of its owner. I daresay that on the vast majority of these issues, the Church and the Brethren take no formal position at all, and it is improper to assume that they do.

Another example:

As a network affiliate, Church-owned KSL-TV carries commercial programming, some of which the leaders of the Church may not find necessarily praiseworthy. It would be extremely wrongheaded to suggest that such programming carries their implicit approval merely because the Church owns the station.

And so I say again, I can follow the Brethren without binding myself to what you or any other unauthoritative individual presumes to say in their behalf.

_____________________

Scott Lloyd, proud consumer of Chick-fil-A food since the attempted boycott/intimidation/suppression of July 2012

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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All that just to avoid the question. :)

No. All that in response to your question, and more.

I'm not academic, nor did I ever pretend to be. So if you think that precludes me from commenting on anything that has to do with academic journals or scholarly pursuits, that's fine.

I don't think that. So, we can set that non-academic straw man aside.

You don't have to reply.

I didn't assume that I did. I reply because I want to and because I find it useful.

I think even though my approach was clearly non-academic, I had some good points.

That is very self-generous of you. Perhaps you might consider being equally generous to Bill?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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When it comes to an institution, an act which is not retracted is presumed to have been made with full authority. Particularly so where there was a statement made to the press which ordinarily requires approval of the office of the President.

Thus, we must presume the actions have the approval of the Board of Trustees.

You say there is no professional journal of Mormon Studies. The Claremont Journal of Mormon Studies doesn't count? And as much as I disagree with much of Dialogue I think that counts as well.

Surely the Apostles know what happened at MI and rumors are else where the will be a meeting concerned parties are available. I tend to agree that a reversal at presents seems to deem consent to the action, but as there are humors of meeting.GA to take place there is room that reversals might occur later.

On a similar note, I have been told that HQ will not get involved with local priesthood leadership decisions, unless such decisions are leading the local flock astray.

Edited by treehugger

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Whereas there is nothing one way or the other to say that the decision was approved in advance by the Board of Trustees, the later BYU press contact and continuing silence thereafter has the same effect -- ratification of what had been done.

How can you say that? We don't know what conversations might be taking place and Br. Peterson hasn't spoken on this. You are being very presumptuous in asserting something as fact for which we have no knowledge. Presumptions have landed nations into war and spouses into divorce. They can be very dangerous especially when touted as fact because you suppose that a body will act according to your expectations.

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That is very self-generous of you. Perhaps you might consider being equally generous to Bill?

Maybe, I could. I'm not sure still what he considers to be "Mormon Studies". All I know is that there is a proposed move from "Mormon Apologetics" to "Mormon Studies" for the MI. After reading the pdf from Bill, I'm still unclear what he thinks Mormon Studies is or will be under the MI. Thus my question on point 3 of my first post.

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