Category Archives: Feminism

Gender, Mormonism, and Transsexuality

The declaration that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” is presumably attempted to rebut the second-wave feminist articulation of the sex/gender dichotomy which sees sex as natural and gender as culturally/socially constructed, and therefore malleable. While it is perhaps unclear that “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is theoretically sophisticated enough to be aware of the sex/gender distinction that emerged in the 1970′s starting with the work of Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1970), it is nevertheless situated in a historical moment in which these terms escape easy definition. Indeed, the definition of such terms is in fact the most contested element of feminist theory, and the failure to articulate any precise definition opens the text up to multiple interpretations.
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Filed under Family, Feminism, Sexuality, Theology

Christmas and Mary

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Revelation 12:1-6
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Filed under Bible, Feminism, Theology

Call for Papers

“Reconciliations and Reformulations”:
A Conference for LDS Graduate Students in Religious Studies
Harvard University, February 20-21, 2009

http://faithandknowledge.org

Many Latter-day Saints experience their scholarship and their religion as
clashing cultures, each with its competing values and contradictory
conclusions. Religious studies students especially struggle to reconcile their
faith and the knowledge they acquire in graduate school. The forms this
reconciliation take–including the failure to achieve reconciliation–become
crucial episodes in a student’s life history. The purpose of the Faith and
Knowledge Conference for 2009 is to provide a forum for exploring these
attempts at reconciliation.
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Filed under Administrative, Feminism, Mormon Studies, Scripture

What if…?

What if someone ordained their wife to the priesthood? Let’s say that this husband wanted to have his wife assist in priesthood blessings in the home, or be able to perform blessings in his absence. She would not be ordained to any particular office, but given the priesthood power for specific ordinances. Let us also say that this woman received it, but never in fact used it. Let us also say that this husband is a bishop, and interviewed the candidate and determined her worthiness. If he did so without claiming that such a practice is or should be church doctrine, how would we understand this practice? A few things to consider:
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Filed under Doctrine, Feminism, Leadership, Speculation

Mormon Literalism and the Body

Recently, Terryl Givens has celebrated one of the Mormon “heresies” (his term) of “literalism.” He argues that Mormonism has eschewed the modern movement towards metaphorical understandings of religion, insisting upon its “literal” relationship to certain “facts,” such as the First Vision, the materiality of the Book of Mormon, and even literalized heaven by making it material. This literalism, however, is distinct from fundamentalist Christianity which insists on a different kind of biblical literalism and historical accuracy, in which areas Mormons have been more flexible. What I think is important to note here is that literalism is always selective, always partial. Some things are always chosen to be taken literally, and others ignored. The question is never whether or not literalism is the operative paradigm, but what things are taken as literal and why.
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Filed under Doctrine, Feminism, Sexuality, Speculation, Theology

The Future of Heavenly Mother

Heavenly Mother (HM) has proven to be a very potent and productive figure in the history of Mormonism. She has been put to use for all sorts of theological and political agendas. Even the silence about her functions to promote a certain political agenda. I want to briefly review some reflections on the history of HM, and offer a theory for why I think she will play a more prominent role in Mormon discourse over the next few decades.
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Filed under Doctrine, Family, Feminism, Sexuality, Speculation