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Sic Et Non

The Saga of BYU’s Jerusalem Center (Part 3)

1 week ago
    A bit more of the story:   As the center came under attack it was clearly the Church itself that was being assaulted. The LDS claim that this was a university building, an academic facility, rather than a mission home or a church, was almost universally brushed aside as a smoke screen. Still, […]
Dan Peterson

“All are alike unto God”

1 week 1 day ago
    Our most significant activity of Wednesday was a visit to the magnificent and still relatively new National Museum of African American History and Culture — the Museum opened on 24 September 2016 — which I recommend very enthusiastically.  It’s entertaining, inspiring, touching, and sobering, by turns.  And the story that it tells positively demands a […]
Dan Peterson

The Saga of BYU’s Jerusalem Center (Part 2)

1 week 1 day ago
    Continuing with the story:   Such attempts at conciliation did not, however, pacify the most militant opponents of the center. Throughout its three years of con­struction, hysterical articles appeared in local newspapers and in the American Jewish press about the Mormon “threat” to Judaism and to the holy city of Jerusalem. (During one […]
Dan Peterson

“Through cloud and sunshine, Lord”

1 week 1 day ago
    I published this column very nearly four years ago.  It was all that I could do.   She was born four years ago today:   Some are displeased with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over socio-political disputes, gender concerns, and other perceived grievances. While I seldom if ever share their […]
Dan Peterson

C. S. Lewis, and a Bequest from John Tvedtnes

1 week 2 days ago
    This is one of my all-time favorite quotations, and it just so happens that it’s from one of my all-time favorite writers:   “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day […]
Dan Peterson

The Saga of BYU’s Jerusalem Center (Part 1)

1 week 2 days ago
    Another few lines:   The dedication of the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden repre­sented the fulfillment of a long-standing dream for many members of the Church. But another dream remained. That was the construc­tion of a visitors’ center in Israel, probably to be combined with facilities for the growing number of students who came […]
Dan Peterson

A reflection on the passing of John Tvedtnes

1 week 2 days ago
    We at the Interpreter Foundation learned just yesterday of the death of our friend and colleague John Tvedtnes.  We are saddened by the loss but grateful for our many years of association and collaboration with him.  He suffered through several years of seriously poor health, and we rejoice in his liberation.  I’ve written […]
Dan Peterson

I still heartily recommend this book

1 week 3 days ago
    Rummaging through my computer files for something else, I came across a book note that I wrote well over a decade ago, and may or may not ever actually have published.  I offer it here, unedited, because the book is still available (now in a revised edition) and because I consider it a […]
Dan Peterson

Physics, Mathematics, and Providence

1 week 3 days ago
    « Physics does not exclude Providence. Nothing happens without its order or permission, even if this gentle action is not miraculous. Evolution, whether of the universe or of the living world, could be made at random by quantum leaps or mutations. Nevertheless, this chance has, from a superior point of view, been directed […]
Dan Peterson

The Orson Hyde Memorial Garden

1 week 3 days ago
    From The Book:   The idea of an Orson Hyde monument continued to be dis­cussed as time went on, although some—notably Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—worried that it might compromise Church efforts among the Arabs.[1] Finally, on 24 Octo­ber 1979, the anniversary of Elder Hyde’s momentous prayer, […]
Dan Peterson

Consciousness, Language, Archaeology, Autism, Suicide, and Religion

1 week 3 days ago
    Two closely related quotations from Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)   To understand the Universe, you must understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics.   The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.   ***   Utah’s relatively high — and evidently increasing […]
Dan Peterson

Some Ordained Scientists

1 week 4 days ago
    There are many who claim that science and religious belief are entirely incompatible.  They allege that the first represents rationality while the latter embodies an unreasoning gullibility that is the antithesis of science.  Some of them are openly contemptuous of anybody who suggests otherwise.   One of those who would have disagreed, however, was […]
Dan Peterson

The establishment of the Jerusalem branch

1 week 4 days ago
    Another day, another passage:   However, while the missionary efforts of the Church in the Near East were winding down or entirely absent, its presence in the Holy Land actually began to grow in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A study group from Brigham Young University first came to Israel in the […]
Dan Peterson

A bit more on the variant accounts of the First Vision

1 week 4 days ago
    One of the many great treats afforded by the recent tour of Egypt that my wife and I accompanied was having Steve Smoot and Steve Densley among the group.   Some of you will be interested in an interview with Stephen Smoot by Tarik La Cour that has just appeared.   ***   I published […]
Dan Peterson

Were the original Native Americans white?

1 week 5 days ago
    I would be interested in the thoughts, regarding this item, of someone more knowledgeable about Amerindian DNA issues and Amerindian ethnohistory than I am:   “Scientists discover DNA proving original Native Americans were White:  ‘This is a new population of Native Americans – the white Native American'”   And my critics needn’t hyperventilate: […]
Dan Peterson

Why I can’t simply dismiss the pre-1978 priesthood ban as a mistake

1 week 5 days ago
    I hope that I’ve made it clear enough that I found the pre-1978 priesthood ban baffling and, to say the least of it, awkward, and that I was absolutely delighted when it was rescinded.  (I’ve had a few critics claim that I’m lying about this, just as I lie about almost everything else. […]
Dan Peterson

Summing Up LDS Missionary Efforts in the Middle East

1 week 5 days ago
    Three more paragraphs, grinding on . . .   In September of 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, the Palestine-Syrian Mission was reopened, again under the experienced leadership of Badwagon Piranian and his wife, who had previously presided over it during the years from 1933 to 1937. Things […]
Dan Peterson

Tonga, among other things

1 week 5 days ago
    The latest installment of the biweekly Hamblin-Peterson Deseret News column is now up:   “Four centuries of Christian devotion in a small Bavarian town”   I get a kick out of the comment from “skeptic” — the first and, thus far at least, the only reader response to the article.  (He’s a regular.) […]
Dan Peterson

Remembering Stephen Webb (1961-2016)

1 week 6 days ago
    I’ve been thinking, the past few days, about my late friend Stephen Webb.  Here, accordingly, are some remarks that I presented on 12 March 2016, at the second Interpreter Foundation conference on Science and Mormonism.   Good morning. My name is Daniel C. Peterson.  I’m a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at […]
Dan Peterson

An apology for the pre-1978 priesthood ban?

1 week 6 days ago
    There has been a lot of talk over the past two or three weeks about a hypothetical apology from the Church for its policy, until June 1978, against priesthood ordination for men of African descent.  Back in March 2012, I posted the following item on exactly the same topic.  Reading through it, I […]
Dan Peterson
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1 hour 52 minutes ago
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