Another week, another list of links from the world of Mormon Studies. Let’s get started:
Those of you who enjoyed last month’s series of posts on material culture will want to read Rachel McBride Lindsey’s post at Religion in American History on a recently-rediscovered quilt auctioned off at her grandmother’s childhood church (Tabernacle Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri). Lindsey concludes:
My grandmother was a small child in 1938 and her memories of the quilt are probably more collective than personal. The quilt is not a proxy of material culture—that capacious category assigned to the stuff we designate as somehow meriting sustained inquiry—and neither is it a proxy of the tiny hands that have grown soft and arthritic, or the many other hands that stitched hundreds of names and sewed its patches into a single tapestry. It is not an unmediated connection to the past, but it is a connection whose twines are composed of threads and stories. Itself a patchwork, it asks us to piece together not only the history of the church and the ownership of the quilt, but also the many other histories of which it is a part.
Another non-Mormon post of potential interest to JI readers is Ken Owen’s thoughts on historical heroes over at The Junto. His concluding thoughts are certainly relevant to readers of Mormon history: “I’ll keep my heroes, for without them, I’d begin to wonder why history mattered at all. But I’ll remember that heroism is also a mug’s game, and I’ll do my best to keep my eyes open to the broader questions—good and bad—raised by the lives of those I admire.”
Speaking of biography, Blair Hodges reviewed Thomas Alexander’s biography of Edward Hunter Snow at the Maxwell Institute Blog, which is surely the first book published by Arthur H. Clark to feature a forward by a Mormon apostle.
Speaking of apostles, they spoke last week at the Church’s semi-annual General Conference, and the (inter)national press took note. The New York Times reported on Deiter Uchtdorf’s Saturday morning sermon on doubt, while Al Jazeera America turned their attention to Ordain Women and their efforts to gain admission to Saturday evening’s Priesthood session. Meanwhile, the Pew Center plugged their previous research on both subjects. A couple of days later, Peggy Fletcher Stack noted that the printed version of D. Todd Christopher’s sermon removed the words “feminist thinkers.”
Of potential interest to aspiring Mormon theologians (and/or Londonphiles) out there, a call for applicants went out this week for the Mormon Theology Seminar’s 2014 seminar, to be held at BYU’s London Centre next June. The seminar will be led by Joe Spencer and Adam Miller and will focus on a close reading of 1 Nephi 1.
And finally, for those of you (like me) who like maps, be sure and enjoy browsing through the interactive “United Sports of America” at Slate. Utah’s state sport will come as little surprise to most of you.