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Where Is the Meaning? (Interpreting Spiritual Texts, part I)

Bloggernacle conversations over the past few months (especially those on women and temple covenants) have got me thinking about issues of textual interpretation. So, I decided to do a series of posts thinking about how we interpret spiritual/religious texts and whether or not there’s anything we can learn from people in the academy whose job it is to interpret texts (i.e. literary theorists). Here’s attempt #1. Read More

Please Welcome: The Bouncer

We at ZDs are happy to welcome our newest member, the Bouncer. The Bouncer is pursuing a Ph.D. in Auto Body and Creative Negotiations. As a child he received an Iron Sewer Rat for being the first Boy Scout ever to swim a mile through industrial sludge. He applied to law school hoping to become intimately acquainted with torts, but when he discovered no cake was involved, he instead graduated at the top of his class from the renowned perjury program at the University of Cosa Nostra (or so he says). Read More

Sunstone Feminist Blogging Session

I’ve been in Utah for the last several weeks, and yesterday I was able to attend a couple of Sunstone sessions, including the panel on Mormon Feminist Bloggers. It was really fun to put faces with some familiar names. I’m a little behind on sleep–it’s been a bit of a crazy week, and I’m about to leave to drive back to California. But here are some of my hopefully not too incoherent notes on what was said. Read More

Finding Spiritual Sustenance

The neoscholastics saw grace as something entirely outside the realm of human consciousness. One participated in the sacraments of the church to receive grace, but this grace was essentially alien and separate from human awareness. This view was sharply critiqued by 20th century theologians who noted that under this framework, it was difficult to see why grace would really matter to anyone. Such an extrinsic understanding of grace, they noted, left people with the view that religious practice was something basically foreign and unconnected to the rest of their lives. Why, if it’s not making any discernable difference in your experience of life, would anyone have any sustained interest in religion? Read More