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Sic Et Non

It might have been extraordinarily productive

1 week 4 days ago
    BYU’s Departments of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and of Philosophy had an informal lunch today with the University’s president (Kevin Worthen) and its academic vice president (James Rasband, who contributed the foreword to the Interpreter Foundation’s 2017 festschrift volume in honor of John W. Welch).  My faculty appointment is in Asian and […]
Dan Peterson

“Let There Be a Famine in the Land”

1 week 4 days ago
    New today, in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:  “Let There Be a Famine in the Land”.   Here is the abstract of the longer article:   The drought recorded in Helaman 11 is probably the only dated, climate-related event in the entire Book of Mormon that could have left a “signature” detectable over […]
Dan Peterson

Second City

1 week 4 days ago
    Before our actual tour begins in Egypt later this month , my wife and I will accompany another couple to Alexandria for two or three days.  (I always like to be at least a little bit less jet-lagged than the tour group that I’m accompanying.  They can fall asleep; I can’t.)   Oddly, […]
Dan Peterson

More on counseling resources at BYU, in light of the recent suicide there

1 week 5 days ago
    Brigham Young University and its sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are taking heavy fire right now for their alleged lack of care for members and students who suffer from mental illness or emotional problems.  As I said in an earlier post on this topic, it’s being alleged, in at […]
Dan Peterson

Son of “In Praise of Excommunication”

1 week 5 days ago
    Back on 22 November 2018 — roughly two weeks ago — I posted a blog entry entitled “In praise of excommunication.”   Some time after that, an online article appeared under the title “High-profile excommunications may harm Mormon retention rates in the long run.”   It summarizes a survey that I haven’t yet […]
Dan Peterson

Reactions to a Tragedy

1 week 5 days ago
    By now, many of you will have heard the very sad story of the suicide of a nineteen-year-old BYU student who jumped from high in the Tanner Building.  Some — and they’re getting a fair amount of media coverage for it — are blaming the student’s death on inadequate campus counseling resources:   […]
Dan Peterson

An Egyptian historical chronology

1 week 6 days ago
    I’ll be accompanying a tour to Egypt later this month.  For this occasion, I thought that I would put together a chronology of basic Egyptian history that I might give out to participants in the group. I make absolutely no claim to originality here; I’ve consulted three other timelines, thus far.  And this […]
Dan Peterson

Have I made any effort to “Light the World”? Have you?

1 week 6 days ago
    Just in case you haven’t already heard the story, here’s an item from the Daily Mail, in the United Kingdom:   “‘Everyone will die’: Blood-soaked man is arrested for stabbing four during Sunday service at LDS church in Brazil”   Not a pleasant event, obviously.  But the news items in this blog entry […]
Dan Peterson

On “Science”

1 week 6 days ago
    Our English word science derives, ultimately, from the Latin verb scire, which meant “to know.”  In modern English, though, science doesn’t refer simply to knowledge in general.  Rather, it denotes a certain kind of knowledge — or, even, to be really precise, a certain methodology (or bundle of methodologies; after all, cosmology and […]
Dan Peterson

Gifts at Christmas

1 week 6 days ago
    If you’re looking for a Christmas gift suitable for an academically-inclined Latter-day Saint, or for somebody who really wants to delve into the New Testament during this coming Church curriculum year (which, of course, will be focused on the New Testament, and for which, given recent developments, Latter-day Saint families and individuals will […]
Dan Peterson

“Solidly credentialed scientists can still have faith”

1 week 6 days ago
    I’m looking back through some of the articles that I’ve published in the Deseret News, and think it occasionally alright to share one or two of them.  This particular column appeared on 15 April 2010:   One of the great scientific achievements of recent decades was the mapping and sequencing of human DNA […]
Dan Peterson

A department dinner, Hanukkah, Chinese oppression, and other matters

1 week 6 days ago
    We had our annual Asian and Near Eastern Languages department Christmas party this evening at Provo’s Bombay House restaurant.  Have I mentioned before that Bombay House is one of the very good things about life in Utah Valley?   I’m in a good department, with good people who work in interesting areas — […]
Dan Peterson

“Is every Christian expected to bear witness?”

2 weeks ago
    Among other things in the remarkable Neal A. Maxwell Lecture (“The Maxwell Legacy in the 21st Century”) that he delivered on the Provo, Utah, campus of Brigham Young University on the evening of Saturday, 10 November 2018, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Council of the Twelve Apostles cited a passage from George MacDonald (1824-1905), […]
Dan Peterson

“Pure love led Christ to descend from the courts of glory”

2 weeks ago
    Here’s a Christmas-related column that I published in the Deseret News on 22 December 2011:   “Knowest thou the condescension of God?” (1 Nephi 11:16) We miss the significance of the question posed to Nephi if we think that “to condescend” means to patronize, or to act in a smugly superior way. As […]
Dan Peterson

A journey into a season of love, peace, and kindness

2 weeks 2 days ago
    At Christmastime, we sing — and we dream — of peace on Earth and good will to all humankind.  Unfortunately, we mortals aren’t very good at this.  At Christmas, though, we aspire to do and to be better.  At least briefly and transiently.  And we hope that if we’re able to improve a […]
Dan Peterson

A few words on “shari‘a”

2 weeks 2 days ago
    I’ve lately received several inquiries about Islam’s shari‘a (or, as it’s often somewhat misleadingly termed, “shari‘a law’).  With that in mind, I think it not inappropriate to share this column that Bill Hamblin and I wrote and that appeared in the Deseret News on 1 December 2012.  It’s dated in parts, but, overall, […]
Dan Peterson

Temple Attendance is a Christlike Gift

2 weeks 2 days ago
    I published this column in the Deseret News on 8 December 2011:   “In the beginning was the Word,” begins a Christmas story that we seldom read at Christmas, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, […]
Dan Peterson

“Charles Dickens and the invention of modern Christmas”

2 weeks 3 days ago
    Here’s a rather moving reminder of, and an invitation to, the 2018 First Presidency Christmas devotional, which takes place this weekend:   https://www.lds.org/church/events/2018-first-presidencys-christmas-devotional?lang=eng&_r=1   And, by the way, you can watch the First Presidency devotional and still listen to the Interpreter Radio Show!   ***   We were in Cairns just a few […]
Dan Peterson

“Artifact or Artifice?”

2 weeks 3 days ago
    A new article — or, anyway, an article that’s still relatively new (I’ve been traveling) — in the pages of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Orson Scott Card’s ‘Artifact or Artifice’: Where It Stands After Twenty-five Years”   The article is by the indefatigible Jeff Lindsay, who also has a short related article […]
Dan Peterson

“Advent refers to Christ’s Second Coming”

2 weeks 4 days ago
    Here’s a column that Bill Hamblin and I published in the Deseret News back on 15 December 2012:   Many Western Christians observe a season called “Advent” (from the Latin “adventus” or “coming”) during the month before they celebrate Jesus Christ’s Nativity at Christmas. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Dec. […]
Dan Peterson
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