So I just got home from a matinee showing of Little Children and I opened my mailbox to find the latest issues of Sunstone and Journal of Mormon History. I haven’t read either one yet (I’m way behind on my reading), but in my ongoing campaign to encourage people to subscribe to and read the LDS independent journals, I thought I would give you a sense for what’s in them in case something should strike your fancy.
John Dewey Remy, who is guest posting right now over at FMH, has an essay comparing Mormon and Japanese rituals on saving the dead. (Our own Sam B. may be interested in this one.) Teaser quote: “Within the Japanese context, rites exist as mechanisms for fulfilling debts and obligations to the deceased. Mormon ancestral ritual is primarily about making the temporary bonds of birth and marriage permanent and death-proof.”
There is also a roundtable from this past summer’s symposium, with a great title: For Better, for Worse, for Apostasy? As I understand it, it is about three couples who talk about what happens when the faith of one or both changes during the marriage. One of the couples is Tom and Page Kimball; Tom is a friend, and I met his wife Page when they sat right behind me on the tour bus at Killington, VT MHA, so I’m particularly interested in reading their story. I missed this session at Sunstone, but everyone who attended just raved about it, so I’m looking forward to reading this.
My good friend Mike Ash has a fine piece entitled “The Sin ‘Next to Murder': An Alternative Interpretation,” in which he argues that that expression in Alma is not talking about sexual transgressions at all, but about destroying the testimonies of others. He also has a lengthy sidebar on the concept of “inoculating,” and I notice that he quotes me: “As LDS scholar Kevin Barney once remarked to me: ‘People can absorb hard facts when presented in a context of faith. But they can’t absorb the feeling of being lied to.'”
Parker Blount has “Scarlet Threads in the Lineage of Jesus: Four Women of the Old Testament,” also a presentation from the summer symposium, and a topic that Julie Smith has blogged on at T&S.
There is the screenplay of one thread (this one entitled “Pizza and a Movie”) of Eric Samuelsen’s Peculiarities, which I quite enjoyed when I saw the full movie at Sunstone this summer.
There is also an interview with Richard Dutcher, along with the usual assortment of fiction, comics and news.
Journal of Mormon History
There is an article by Gary Entz on the Bickertonites.
Ugo Perego and Scott Woodward do another of their fascinating historical applications of DNA science, this time in a piece entitled “Mountain Meadows Survivor? A Mitochondrial DNA Examination.” (BTW, you know how I said above that the Kimballs sat behind me on the tour bus at MHA Vermont? Ugo was on the row behind them.)
Kylie Nielsen Turley, “Rhetoric and Ritual: A Decade of Women’s Exponent Death Poetry.” This might be another one for our own Sam B. and J. Stapley to take a look at.
Here is an intriguing one: “‘The Queen of Inventions': The Sewing Machine Comes to Utah.”
David Clark Knowlton, “Mormonism and Guerillas in Bolivia” (perhaps of interest to our own RT and Serenity Valley?)
And much more, including the usual cornucopia of reviews.
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
This one has been out for a bit now, but since I recently described the recent BYU Studies and J. Stapley did the recent Dialogue, I thought I should mention it here for completeness.
This issue features an essay by Bob Rees (former Dialogue editor) on automatic writing.
There is also a piece by Steven Olsen entitled “Prophecy and History: Structuring the Abridgement of the Nephite Records.”
The bulk of the issue is devoted to a scholarly roundtable on Royal Skousen’s first textual commentary volume on the BoM critical text project, including contributions from Gerald Bradford, Terryl Givens, Bob Matthews, Grant Hardy, Kerry Muhlestein, and moi.