Author Archives: smallaxe

A Religious Studies Major at BYU Pt. II

In Pt I we looked at developing a curriculum and focused on “core classes”. That discussion is still on-going. This post will examine the develoment of an Introduction to Religious Studies course (which will be part of the core classes), and a required theories course which majors will take during the Sophomore (and perhaps Junior) year. The issue of language requirements was also raised so let’s toss that into the mix here. Continue reading

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Filed under Speculation

A Religious Studies Major at BYU Pt. I

Okay, I know it will probably never happen, but… Continue reading

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Filed under BYU, Mormon Studies, Speculation

Toss the Milk and Lose the Meat

I think most of the people that frequent the Bloggernacle believe that classes such as Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society fall short as far as how engaging they could be. This has been discussed in numerous places. Most recently at BCC; and earlier here at FPR under the rubric of “Consequentialism”. “Engaging” of course means different things to different people, but it often is expressed along with the idiom of “milk before meat”. I want to argue in this thread that employing the “milk before meat” rhetoric will not solve the problems people are trying to articulate.

As far as I see it, the paradigm of milk before meat is heavily attached to the following ideas:

Continue reading

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EQ–Ethical Intelligence

Are we all born with the same amount of ethical intelligence? 

I would imagine that most people believe that “intelligence” or IQ is not something all people are born with equal amounts of (although an interesting argument anyone is welcome to take up would be that “IQ” is a culturally bound notion and most people are born with equal amounts of “intelligence”). While we may be able to increase our IQ to a certain extent, it seems (at least to me) that there are always people who are more intelligent, and seem to be naturally so.

A similar argument could be said for SQ or “social intelligence” (although much less quantifiable). Some people are naturally better at responding to social circumstances, “fitting in”, or “getting along” with others. A large amount of in-born(?) social ackwardness is hard to overcome.

I’m curious whether or not this argument can be extend to the ethical or moral sphere as far as Mormonism is concerned? Are we all born with the same amount of ethical intelligence? In terms of this discussion it may perhaps be best to create a working definition of ethical intelligence–the ability to recognize right from wrong–as subjective or objective as it may be (so not necessarily to take action or “do” the right, which would also be an interesting discussion). I’m speaking here generically and not universally. In other words there are of course those with sever deformaties that make any universal claim impossible, so I’m dealing here in a “generic” rather than “universal” sense.

Can we all equally recognize right from wrong? Are we born equals in EQ, or are some more naturally endowed than others? If we have differing levels of EQ, is it harder for some to live the gospel than it is for others? 

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Filed under Doctrine

Church Education as Consequentialism

For a long time I’ve felt a disconnect between the concept of “education” employed by programs such as the Church Educational System, and “education” in the context school learning (be it post-high or not). I think I recently have been able to put more of a finger on why I’ve felt this way. Before going further I should probably admit that this may reflect more of my own attitudes and experience with “education” both within and without the church, than an “objective” description of the situation, but I believe it will resonant with some. I’m also going to (over?) generalize, but hey, it’s a blog post and I’m happy to modify or defend my argument as needed Continue reading

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Exchanging Orthodoxy for Orthopraxy

I tend to make few comments during lessons in Sunday School or Priesthood, even when something is said that I deeply disagree with. I don’t want to be labeled as one who “stirs the pot” or the “ward liberal”, so for the sake of maintaining harmonious relationships in the ward I usually keep my thoughts to one-on-one interactions I have with closer friends in the ward. When asked to comment (or to speak in Sacrament), I try to do it in a way that facilitates conversation without sparking controversy. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal Issues

Welcome Jondh and Yellow Dart

We’d like to welcome two guest bloggers: Jondh from SundayPage and Yellow Dart from LDS Kai Ta Biblia. (For more on them see their “about” pages.) Both are young scholars planning on going to grad school in Biblical or Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Let’s welcome them to FPR!

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Filed under Administrative