20
Apr
2013

An Interview with Michael Ash, “Shaken Faith Syndrome” (Episode 24)

Michael R. Ash is a veteran staff member of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), former weekly columnist for the Mormon Times and has presented several papers at LDS-related symposiums. Ash is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony In the Face of Criticism and Doubt, as well as Of Faith and Reason: Scholarly Evidences Supporting Joseph Smith. Ash writes a semi-monthly column for Meridian Magazine's on-line publication and has written more than 100 articles defending the faith. Ash has had articles published by FAIR, FARMS, Sunstone, Dialogue, and most recently in the Ensign.

In this interview Kirk and Michael talk about what it means to doubt, the declining lack of literacy, how to stay a member of the church, and what it might mean for one to leave faithfully.

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14
Dec
2012

In Interview with Brant Gardner “The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon” (episode 09)

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.

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23
Nov
2012

Part 2 of An Interview with Royal Skousen, “The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text” (Episode 06)

Royal Skousen is Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Brigham Young University and has been the editor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project since 1988. In 2001, he published the first two volumes of the project, namely, typographical facsimiles for the original and printer’s manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. From 2004 through 2009, he published the six books that make up volume 4 of the critical text, Analysis of Textual Variants of the book of Mormon. This work represents the central task of the Critical Text Project, to restore by scholarly means the original text of the Book of Mormon, to the extent possible. In 2009, using the results of volume 4, Skousen published with Yale University Press the culmination of his critical text work, The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. He is currently writing volume 3 of the critical text, The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, which will be available in about three years. And he has recently become one of th editors for the Joseph Smith Papers, along with Robin Jensen, charged with the task of preparing the three volumes that will reproduce photographs and facsimile transcripts for the two manuscripts of the Book of Mormon.

In part two of this interview, Kirk and Royal discuss the Printer's Manuscript, the Original Manuscript, and the importance of The Earliest Text from both an academic and a spiritual standpoint.

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18
Nov
2012

Part 1 of An Interview with Royal Skousen, “The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text” (Episode 05)

Royal Skousen is Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Brigham Young University and has been the editor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project since 1988. In 2001, he published the first two volumes of the project, namely, typographical facsimiles for the original and printer’s manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. From 2004 through 2009, he published the six books that make up volume 4 of the critical text, Analysis of Textual Variants of the book of Mormon. This work represents the central task of the Critical Text Project, to restore by scholarly means the original text of the Book of Mormon, to the extent possible. In 2009, using the results of volume 4, Skousen published with Yale University Press the culmination of his critical text work, The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. He is currently writing volume 3 of the critical text, The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, which will be available in about three years. And he has recently become one of th editors for the Joseph Smith Papers, along with Robin Jensen, charged with the task of preparing the three volumes that will reproduce photographs and facsimile transcripts for the two manuscripts of the Book of Mormon.

In part one of this interview, Kirk and Royal discuss the translation process of the Gold Plates as well as various individuals that were  involved in (and/or witnessed) that process.

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10
Nov
2012

A Review of, “An Experiment on the Word: Reading Alma 32″

An Experiment on the Word: Reading Alma 32 is a collection of six papers presented at the first Mormon Theological Seminar (MTS). The Mormon Theological Seminar is a group of Mormon scholars who study scripture closely and charitably. This book does what other books in the field of Mormon studies are typically not doing, they are reading “Mormon scripture theologically rather than historically, doctrinally, or devotionally” (1). The Mormon Theological Seminar proves that Mormons can be theologians too. The authors introduced in An Experiment on the Word are proof that an individual can congruently be a faithful member of the Church and, at the same time, a theologian critically engaged in the reading of The Book of Mormon. I see the agenda of the book being to challenge the reader to do exactly what Alma 32 challenges its reader to do, to experiment upon the word.  Adam Miller, editor and founder of the MTS, added that “to experiment upon the word is to experience the word” (15). I read the book with this phrase in mind because I believe that it encompasses the overall agenda of the collection.

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28
Oct
2012

An Interview with Joseph Spencer, “An Other Testament: On Typology” (Episode 02)

Joe Spencer is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at the University of New Mexico, where he focuses on contemporary French thought and the history of analytic philosophy. In Mormon studies, his focus is scriptural theology, with an emphasis on the Book of Mormon. He has published in Dialogue, BYU Studies , The Journal of Mormon History, and elsewhere. He is the author of An Other Testament: On Typology (2012, Salt Press) and For Zion: A Mormon Theology of Hope (forthcoming from Kofford Books).

In this podcast, Kirk and Joe discuss the current state of Book of Mormon scholarship, typology, and how the Book of Mormon prophets Nephi and Abinadi read Isaiah.

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