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Faith is By Choice Striving to Build Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ

Sic Et Non

A first look at the “Kalila wa-Dimna”

13 hours 3 minutes ago
    One of the books that we read in my “Islamic Humanities” course — in fact, the very first book that we read — is a retelling of the Kalila wa-Dimna or Kalila and Dimna.  I would rather have had the students read the text itself (in translation, of course), but I haven’t found […]
Dan Peterson

Movie Extras Needed!

19 hours 55 minutes ago
    Filming of the dramatic portions of Witnesses will begin very shortly.   We’re covered for extras in Utah, I believe, but we’re still looking for movie extras — probably about a hundred of them, altogether — in the distant locations:   Upper Canada Village (Ontario, very close to the U.S./Canada border at New […]
Dan Peterson

“Fools’ names and fools’ faces”

21 hours ago
    “Fools’ names and fools’ faces,” my mother would sometimes remind me, “are often seen in public places.”   I haven’t mentioned this here (or anywhere else) before but, now that I discover that it has already been publicly announced, I suppose that I should say something.  Certainly I should express my gratitude to […]
Dan Peterson

Cinderella and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

21 hours 47 minutes ago
    Last night, my wife and I enjoyed dinner with friends and then went with them to a performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy.   I have to say that no particular song in the musical struck me as very memorable.  (Since it’s a Rodgers and Hammerstein […]
Dan Peterson

Giggling toward the apocalypse

22 hours 24 minutes ago
    Bill Hamblin and I published the following column in the Deseret News on Friday, 16 August 2019:   “Is religious faith a disease to be cured?”   ***   This is an interesting, sobering, and provocative article:   “How a Silent Cosmos Led Humans to Fear the Worst”   ***   And, in […]
Dan Peterson

“Hamlet” (C)

1 day 9 hours ago
    In my immediately previous post on Hamlet, I began to discuss the late Eugene England’s suggestion that the ghost who appears on the ramparts of the castle of Elsinore and who urges Prince Hamlet on to revenge might well have been a satanic counterfeit.  The ghost might have intended Hamlet’s ruin and that […]
Dan Peterson

“Hamlet” (B)

2 days 11 hours ago
    One amusing thing about the character of Hamlet is that, before the story told in the play begins, he’s been studying at the University of Wittenberg.  Doctor Faustus (aka simply “Faust”) is also said to have studied there.  Plainly, Wittenberg was a popular university among fictional characters.   I’ll be leading a tour […]
Dan Peterson

“Hamlet” (A)

2 days 12 hours ago
    Many have already said so but, for me and my wife, the high point of this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival was its production of Hamlet, which we saw on Friday afternoon.  The direction was fresh, strong, and original, the cast was excellent, and Quinn Mattfeld was a powerful Prince of Denmark.  Polonius, by the […]
Dan Peterson

Is “compassion” a significant idea in Latter-day Saint thinking?

2 days 13 hours ago
    A quite unfriendly correpondent has challenged me.  Why, he — I presume it’s a “he” — demands, did my recently re-posted column on compassion deliberately exclude my own faith?  Isn’t it because I feel no obligation to be compassionate?  Isn’t it because I’m unrepentantly, indeed self-righteously, mean and vicious?   Well, no.   […]
Dan Peterson

“Dark Matter May Be Older Than The Big Bang, Study Suggests”

2 days 17 hours ago
    So-called “dark matter,” already quite mysterious, may have become a bit more so:   “Dark Matter May Be Older Than The Big Bang, Study Suggests”   For some of my own musings on the subject of dark matter, here’s a column that I published in the Deseret News back on 13 August 2015, […]
Dan Peterson

When, with the morn, those angel faces smile

3 days ago
    On Saturday morning, sitting with my wife and one of her friends in the celestial room of the St. George Utah Temple, I found myself watching a rather large group of people there.  Like us clad in white, they were obviously family and friends of a young woman who had come through the […]
Dan Peterson

Will I be on the Headline News Network on Sunday night?

3 days 8 hours ago
    Inquiring minds want to know!   If I’m not misinformed, a two-part documentary on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case will air on Sunday evening, 18 August 2019, on the “Headline News Network” or HLN channel, which (as I understand it) belongs to CNN.   “The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart (Part 1)” will appear […]
Dan Peterson

Science and Wissenschaft (A)

4 days 9 hours 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

Jimmy Aldaoud RIP

4 days 9 hours ago
    “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide […]
Dan Peterson

“Jacob Did Not Make a False Prediction”

4 days 21 hours ago
    It’s Friday, so another article has been published (today) in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Duane Boyce, “Jacob Did Not Make a False Prediction” Review of Adam S. Miller, “Reading Signs or Repeating Symptoms,” in Christ and Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7, eds. Adam S. Miller and Joseph M. Spencer (Provo, Utah: […]
Dan Peterson

“The Interpreter Foundation 7th Annual Dinner and Fireside”

5 days 8 hours ago
    Thanks to the generous efforts of Tom Pittman and Russ Richins, the postprandial remarks made to donors and volunteers at the seventh annual Interpreter Foundation birthday dinner are now available (as usual, at no charge) to anybody who might be interested in hearing and seeing the speakers:   “The Interpreter Foundation 7th Annual […]
Dan Peterson

Compassion and Religion

5 days 22 hours ago
    “And We have sent the Book down to you in truth, confirming what you already have of the Book and as a criterion for it. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a […]
Dan Peterson

Is religion — terrifying thought! — good for your health?

5 days 23 hours ago
    Sam LeFevre, who sometimes looks in on this unworthy blog, has kindly called my attention to an article that some of you might find interesting:   “Is Faith Delusion?”   I was unaware of the essay, but it reminded me of a column about the book that apparently grew out of it.  I […]
Dan Peterson

A personal, autobiographical, note about the St. George Utah Temple

6 days 10 hours ago
    It’s a balmy and very still evening here in St. George.  As I sit typing on our balcony, I’m looking across an illuminated pool and a number of palm trees at a clearly visible full moon.  Frankly, it reminds me of evenings in the Middle East.   ***   Here are some resources […]
Dan Peterson

“Every Brilliant Thing”

6 days 13 hours ago
    My wife and I attended a performance of Every Brilliant Thing this afternoon up in Cedar City.  It’s a funny (though occasionally touching) and fast-paced one-man play by Duncan Macmillan (with Johnny Donohoe) about . . . depression and suicide.  Michael Doherty did extremely well with it, and it obviously had an emotional […]
Dan Peterson
4 hours 33 minutes ago
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