First and foremost: “The Pure Language Project” in the current volume of the Journal of Mormon History is the best explanation to date of the significance of the documents relating to the Egyptian papyri (referred to collectively as the “Egyptian Language Documents,” or ELD for short) for the development of Church doctrine and Joseph Smith’s understanding of the cosmos.
It seems like ‘church capacity’ would be a useful concept. In parallel to ‘state capacity,’ church capacity might describe the ability of a religious organization to carry out its missions, promote its doctrine, gain adherents, participate as an entity in broader society and accomplish its other purposes.
The Gesta Romanorum, a medieval collection of moralizing stories, includes the tale of a hermit who despaired at the world’s injustice and resolved to abandon his calling.
One of the recurring irritations of reading apologetic, polemic, or scholarly work in Mormon Studies addressing Joseph Smith’s translations of ancient scripture is that the authors nearly always ignore the perspective of practicing translators and the field of translation studies, instead basing their analyses in simple notions of linguistic equivalence that may still prevail in graduate language exams, but that the field of translation studies abandoned as unworkable several decades ago.
The re-use of characters from JSP IX on Facsimile 2 doesn’t mean that the marginal characters in Abraham manuscripts A-C weren’t used in the translation. I think it actually makes it more likely that they were. Before I unpack what this means, you might want to read the published version of Tim Barker’s 2020 FAIR presentation or Jeff Lindsay’s summary.
If you’ve been following the LDS blogging world for the last 20 years or so, you’ll recognize Ivan Wolfe from posts and comments at various blogs. Ivan lives in Arizona, where he teaches writing at ASU. He has published essays on several topics I’d like to hear more about, including Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, The Princess Bride and Philosophy, and others. Please join me in welcoming Ivan Wolfe.
It’s true: In March 2022, the FEC fined the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential election campaign for incorrectly declaring payments to an oppo research firm involved with the Steele dossier. As a Democratic voter in 2016, I must say that news of the fine means…absolutely nothing to me. The stakes in the 2016 election were a lot higher than whether the FEC agreed with every point of the Clinton campaign’s interpretation of campaign finance law.
If you’ve followed the controversy at Hamline University (located in St. Paul, Minnesota) in recent months with BYU in the back of your mind, you might have felt a degree of familiarity.
In his 2009 article, Chris Smith argued for the textual dependence of the Book of Abraham on the GAEL. While Dan Vogel’s recent book about the Book of Abraham and related apologetics strenuously objects to any suggestion that the GAEL was reverse engineered from the translation of Abraham, Vogel nevertheless entirely rejects the basis of Chris Smith’s argument.
Scholars from seemingly every corner of Mormon Studies agree: While working on the Egyptian papyri, Joseph Smith and his associates were either unaware of Champollion’s recent work to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, or simply unaffected by the recent advances in Egyptology. Not only is this position untenable, it’s demonstrably incorrect.
Like most media outlets, Inside Higher Ed isn’t well equipped to report stories about BYU-Idaho – it doesn’t entirely understand that BYU and BYU-Idaho are two different schools, for example. But if I had to read between the lines and make an educated guess, this is what I think is happening.
On most cultural issues, the Church is situated somewhere between the center left and the center right.