Brant A. Gardner (M.A. State University of New York Albany) is the author of Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon and The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon, both published through Greg Kofford Books. He has contributed articles to Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl and Symbol and Meaning Beyond the Closed Community. He has presented papers at the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research conference as well as at Sunstone.
In this interview Kirk and Brant discuss Joseph Smith's Moroni visit, translating The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith's relationship to the King James Bible during that translation process.
Samuel Brown graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in Linguistics with a minor in Russian, then received his MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was a National Scholar and Massachusetts Medical Society Scholar. After graduation he completed residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remained on faculty as an Instructor in General Medicine at Harvard Medical School before moving to the University of Utah, where he completed fellowship training. He is now Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Associate in the Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah, based at the Shock Trauma ICU at Intermountain Medical Center.
Samuel began his scholarly career studying the epidemiology of hospital-acquired infections in resource-limited settings within the former Soviet Union, a project funded by USAID that ultimately evolved into the development of outbreak detection algorithms with an MIT-trained group of engineers, which resulted in the successful development of a software package deployed in US hospitals to track and control hospital-acquired infections. More recently, his interests in serious infection, computer models, and complex analysis have led to scholarly work on the sepsis syndrome. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, he investigates patterns in cardiovascular function to identify markers of disease severity and responsiveness to treatment in patients with life-threatening infection. This work evaluates hidden rhythms in heart rate and blood pressure that may be able to guide the resuscitation of individuals in septic shock. He has published and presented widely on the epidemiology of infectious disease and critical illness.
In his off-hours Samuel tries to understand how believers have employed religious concepts in coming to terms with embodiment, sickness, and death, a quiet avocation that has yielded several publications. His book, In Heaven As It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death, explores tenets of the early Restoration that support an LDS relational theology within the context of the struggle to overcome the effects of death.
Samuel missionized in the Great Louisiana-Baton Rouge Mission in the early 1990s and has since served in a variety of roles in the church, including bishop’s counselor, ward mission leader, Gospel Doctrine teacher, physical facilities coordinator, sub-assistant scout master, and, most durably and importantly, husband, father, and home teacher.
In this interview Kirk and Samuel discuss angels, death in 19th century American Christian culture, and the Mormon temple. They also discuss issues surrounding Joseph Smith's sometimes controversial involvement in polygamy and freemasonry.
Michael D. K. Ing is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University. After receiving his BA from Brigham Young University in 2002, he earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School in 2005 and a PhD from Harvard University in 2011. Michael is the author of The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism (Oxford University Press, 2012), and is currently working on a project that explores issues of vulnerability as they relate to Confucian accounts of the human condition, and Confucian attitudes toward the ability, or inability, of human beings to determine their own welfare.
In this interview Kirk and Michael discuss Confucianism, ritual, and how to study Chinese religion from a Western/Judeo-Christian perspective.