Search Results for: correlation

On the Routinization, Bureaucratization, and Correlation of Charisma: Max Weber and the Mormons

The Theory of Social and Economic OrganizationIf somebody asked me to name ten books that would help them understand modern Mormonism, I wouldn’t be able to do it. There are too many to choose from, and I could never narrow it down. However, if somebody asked me to name a single book that would tell them more about modern Mormonism than any other, I wouldn’t even have to think about it twice—even though the book I have in mind uses the word “Mormon” only once. That book is Max Weber’s The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, where the great sociologist develops the concept he calls “the routinization of charisma.” [Read more…]

Correlation and the Preference for Bright-Line Rules

One of the Church’s greatest problems of the 20th century was its substantial growth. We went from being a small, peculiar sect hunkered down in the Great Basin to becoming a world-wide church, far-flung with different cultures and languages, and we did it very quickly. The Church’s overarching response to that problem was Correlation. Largely independent auxiliaries were streamlined under priesthood lines, things were simplified, extraneous things were jettisoned. We sometimes lament the things we have lost with Correlation, but at this late date there is simply no turning back the clock, it is a fait accompli. [Read more…]

A Response to Matt Bowman on Beards and Correlation (p.3 of 3)

This 3-part series is a response to Matthew Bowman’s excellent Slate article, “Saturday’s Warriors: How Mormons went from beard-wearing radicals to clean-cut conformists.” I’m going over my three quibbles/expanded analyses: First, the article paints a flatter evolutionary model of LDS history than I believe Bowman himself advances in his book. Second, as a result, Bowman glosses over some important distinctions between Mormon pop-culture and correlated materials. Finally, Bowman also might have drawn attention to how the shifts he describes directly relates to the present discussions of “official doctrine.” Expansion #3:

III. (Un)Official

So there’s been plenty of chatter lately about what does and doesn’t count as “official Church doctrine.” The LDS Newsroom has published statements on the subject–one perhaps a response to Romney’s last campaign effort, the other a response to Bott-gate–and a member of the Quorum of the 12 addressed the issue explicitly in Conference. There are various motives for advancing this distinction, but here I’d like to make one quick comparison which, like Bowman’s column, can be mercilessly nit-picked due to its terseness. [Read more…]

A Response to Matt Bowman on Beards and Correlation (p.2 of 3)

This 3-part series is a response to Matthew Bowman’s excellent Slate article, “Saturday’s Warriors: How Mormons went from beard-wearing radicals to clean-cut conformists.”

I’m going over my three quibbles: First, the article paints a flatter evolutionary model of LDS history than I believe Bowman himself advances in his book. Second, as a result, Bowman glosses over some important distinctions between Mormon pop-culture and correlated materials. Finally, Bowman also might have drawn attention to how the shifts he describes directly relates to the present discussions of “official doctrine.” Nitpick #2:

II. Glossing Correlation and Broader Mormon Culture [Read more…]

A Response to Bowman on Beards and Correlation (p.1 of 3)

A few weeks ago a friend posted an article on Mormonism written by a former member of the Church which, for the most part, did a fine job of describing Mormonism for outsiders. After I “Like”‘d the link and responded with some clarifications another guy replied “BHodges would quibble with the angel Moroni himself.” Well, if not the Angel Moroni, I’m quibbling here with one of the most notable academic angels of present Mormon Studies, Matthew Bowman. I recently did a podcast with Bowman, author of a great new book from Random House called The Mormon People, which I pitch to you now.

The prolific Bowman has yet another article out this week in Slate called “Saturday’s Warriors: How Mormons went from beard-wearing radicals to clean-cut conformists.” It’s another specimen of Bowman’s typically fun, frank, and insightful analysis. But I think the piece requires a bit of quibbling, as such popular columns always do, and I’m feeling a bit audacious today, so here goes nothing. [Read more…]

Bott-ulism Outbreaks and Protective Correlation

As I have tried to formulate my thoughts about recent events, I have gained new appreciation for the guy with the shovel whose job it is to follow behind the circus parade after the horses and elephants have passed through. There is certainly a lot of raw material to work with. While there is much to regret, the really interesting question we need to answer is how this even happened in the first place.
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Measure Theory, Sunday School and Correlation

Every so often, when I teach a course, I get the strange idea that students really ought to see something that, were it not for me, they will probably never encounter (this of course is probably some kind of conceit). This idea almost always involves me writing some text or part of a text. And it is almost always a mistake. It is a mistake because my perspective is usually faulty.
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Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 9 — History Done Backwards)

This is the final, and longest, post of the series. Read the first eight installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8. You can download and read Daymon’s dissertation here.

Remember, Daymon has made his dissertation available for purchase in bound form here. All of the proceeds will go to the Utah Food Bank. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 26 — “Courts of Love” Redux)

Previous entries can be found here. For those of you who have fixed your gaze upon this post, we thank you for your diligence and patience. In Section 1 part we track the Underground and the discursive splitting it generated within Mormonism. From there, Section 2 casts the expansion of Priesthood Power in light of the possibilities for excellence in athletic competition capacitated by that discursive rupture and semiotic fragmenting. This led, eventually, to strategies for curtailing what was emerging as an ecumenical outreach in Mormon basketball populations, as we discuss in Section 3. The formal division between Mormon university athletics and professional hoops in Utah is shown to be merely a façade in Section 4, as the bannination of rogue recruiters takes place, most prominent among them Roger Reid. Discussion of the future, changing social and athletic pressures among California Mormons, especially regarding SSM, are considered in Section 5. If you like quantitative social scientific research, I heartily recommend that you read part of J. Nelson-Seawright’s dissertation, or maybe a paper or two he wrote. You’ll have to pay read them, but all proceeds will help sick kids in Ogden.

Section 1: “Courts of Love”

Scott B: I guess that, to start off this discussion, we really need to go back to the beginning–the very beginning. How exactly the “Courts of Love” came to exist in the LDS Church; their exegesis, their evolution, and their role in modern Mormonism.


JNS:
Right. I believe it was Joseph Smith, in the King Follett discourse, who said that, “There is the starting point for us to look to…If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right.” I believe the same principle applies here: if we are to wrap our minds around the true nature of this controversial subject, we have to start off on the right foot.
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Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 8 — The Rise of Correlation)

Read the first seven installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7. You can download and read Daymon’s dissertation here.

I should note that the dissertation chapters that coincide with this portion of the discussion are among the most accessible of the entire work. They’re also rich with detail in a way that this conversation can really only approximate. Remember, Daymon has made his dissertation available for purchase in bound form here. All of the proceeds will go to the Utah Food Bank. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 7 — Theological Excursus)

Read the first six parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. You can download and read Daymon’s dissertation here.

*****Also, a bit of news: Daymon has made his dissertation available for purchase in bound form here. All of the proceeds will go to the Utah Food Bank. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 6 — Church and Priesthood)

Finally, our little series begins to move into something that is vaguely recognizable as modern Correlation. Parts 1-5 of the series are available here, here, here, here, and here. Daymon’s dissertation can be found and read here. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 5 — The Rise of Fundamentalism)

For those of you who have kept up with and continue to follow this series, we thank you for your diligence and patience. In part 1 we tracked the polygamist Underground and the discursive splitting it generated within Mormonism. From there, part 2 cast the issuance of Manifestos in light of the possibilities for reading capacitated by that discursive rupture and semiotic fragmenting. This led, eventually, to strategies for curtailing what was emerging as a kind of neo-Underground by Church leaders, and the Church courts wherein these things were (not particularly) sorted out were canvassed in part 3. The formal division between holdout polygamists and the newly monogamous Church only began to really take hold with the excommunication of recalcitrant apostles, most prominent among them John W. Taylor. Discussion of his excommunication comprised the bulk of part 4 in the series. Again, I heartily recommend that you read Daymon’s dissertation, available here. Now, to business… [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 4 — John W. Taylor, Excommunicated)

Catch up on the series with parts one, two, and three. Daymon’s dissertation can be downloaded and read here.

Brad: So to this point we’ve basically laid some important historical groundwork. We began in the 1880s on the Underground and ended last time roughly three decades later with the implementation of disciplinary hearings. These historical developments entailed some really difficult, complicated, entangled issues involving authority, priesthood, the relationship between polygamous and monogamous Mormons in the wake of the 1904 Manifesto, etc. The whole idea is that by the time we actually get around to the emergence of what we can today recognize as Correlation—that process doesn’t really make a lot of sense in a vacuum. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere, and the more we understand the issues that LDS leaders faced at the time in their efforts to transform Mormonism into a “modern” religion and church, and especially a post-polygamous church, the more the rise of Correlation will make a kind of historical and logical sense, as a particular response to a particular set of concerns and difficulties. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 3 — Courts of Love)

Read installments 1 and 2 in the series here and here. Seriously. Read them. Before you read this. Also, read Daymon’s dissertation here.
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Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 2 — Manifestos)

A continuation of our conversation on the origins and historical developments of Correlation. Part 1 can be read here. To reiterate, these conversations are meant to serve as an introduction or prolegomenon to Daymon Smith’s pathbreaking existing work on the topic, available here. Last time we talked about the Underground. It would be useful to read there before moving into this section of the conversation. Again, thanks to Daymon for his willingness to participate in these chats. [Read more…]

Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 1 — The Mormon Underground)

Oh, Matsby -- how could you?


This post marks the beginning of a series on the origins and historical development of what Mormons typically denote with the term “Correlation.” It’s a long and complicated story, one that will require a number of installments to adequately canvas. It’s also an incredibly interesting story, involving, among other things, polygamy, the Underground, manifestoes, post-manifesto polygamy, senators, aspiring senators, “courts of love,” monogamy, Fundamentalism, Church welfare, apostolic infighting, charts and graphs, minds and bodies, lying, truth-telling, bureaucracies, Navajos, and a plethora of John Taylors. [Read more…]

Apologia Pro Correlation Sua

Just about every day in the bloggernacle, church correlation gets a black eye and a fat lip. Whenever the conversation turns to church manuals, CES, the role of women, insipid gospel doctrine lessons, or snore-inducing talks in sacrament meeting, correlation gets put on the ropes where it receives yet another beating. If this were a heavyweight fight, the referee would have stopped it long ago on humanitarian grounds. [Read more…]

Round Table: Correlation – vol. 2

By Common Consent is pleased to release the second of a two-part round table on Correlation. Vol. 1, is available here, and adds a significant depth to this conversation. The participants in this round include: [Read more…]

One that slipped through Correlation…

What’s wrong with this story? (From the Family Home Evening Resource Book.)
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Round Table: Correlation — vol. 1

As our regular readers know, By Common Consent occasionally gathers experts in certain fields to discuss topics in a round table format. In continuing this grand tradition, we are pleased to release volume 1 in a series on Correlation. [Read more…]

Patriarchal Innocence and the Church

Recently, I’ve been listening to Eric Michael Dyson’s book Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America. As a white dude who grew up in the South and who currently lives in the south in the era of Black Lives Matter and the Drumpf Administration, I’ve been thinking a lot about what race has meant to me. Professor Dyson’s book is an excellent jeremiad against indifference to the suffering and death being inflicted on our African-American brothers and sisters and I recommend the book to anyone who really wants to understand what is at stake in our current racial discord. But I don’t really want to talk about that today. Instead, I want to talk about innocence.

Geek & Sundry GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
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We Should REALLY Argue More at Church

Image resultI hope I will be forgiven for co-opting Sam Brunson’s excellent post and title (found here), but I wanted to investigate the WHY a little bit more. Ardis points out that debate used to be a staple at church (at least for the men of the YMMIA) during the early part of the 20th century. We also know that in the earliest days of the church, the School of the Prophets was known for hearty discussion and debate (as well as tobacco spitting and smoking). Based on my own memories, growing up in the church in the 70s and 80s, church classes used to involve more debate than they have in my advancing years. That could be the nature of the ward I grew up in, but I suspect that it’s a byproduct of the calcification of correlation that has continued since its introduction. The church–like every organization–becomes more bureaucratic with growth, not less. I’ll explain what I mean. [Read more…]

Lesson 2: “Behold, I Am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World” #DandC2017

At the dawn of the restoration, there were three primary views of the Atonement that swirled around Joseph Smith’s family and other early Mormon believers. [Read more…]

Interview: J. Kirk Richards and the Gospel Vision of the Arts

The following is an interview with J. Kirk Richards, LDS Artist and board member of THE VISION OF THE ARTS FUND, which was established in 2015 as a home for the Gospel Vision of the Arts Auction, which provides scholarships and opportunities for LDS artists.  As I’ve learned and talked personally with the people working behind the scenes to make this happen, I am both touched and so grateful for their optimism, enthusiasm and patronage of the arts within Mormonism.  Recently I visited one of their homes, which is brimming with intelligent, well-crafted, beautiful and spiritually engaging art by Mormons and I left feeling such a strong desire to be a part.  I’m excited about this work and the opportunity it will give many people to pursue their own work in the arts.  You probably want to take a moment to check out the auction, there are really beautiful pieces up for bid http://visionofthearts.org/auction.html

Q:   Tell us about the current state of LDS visual arts.

A:   I’m hugely optimistic about the future of Mormon art.  I think pessimists focus on a very small segment: the few pieces of artwork that meet the rigorously dogmatic requirements of correlation.  But there is a much larger art community outside of correlation—from new classical revivalist schools along the Wasatch front to New York artists showing in the MoMA; from traditional to conceptual and everything in between.  There are energetic and supportive networks of LDS artists, encouraging and lifting each other to new heights.    

Auction piece “Believe” by David Linn.

linn_believe_500px [Read more…]

Why Men Need to Read “One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly”

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I gave a version of these remarks last night as part of the panel discussion at Writ & Vision in Provo.

In her foreword to Ashley Mae Hoiland’s new book, One Hundred Birds Taught Me to FlyKristin Matthews aptly identifies its participation in “a markedly female tradition of Christian writing,” noting its affinities with the work of writers like Mary Oliver, Louise Glück, and Annie Dillard, as well as medieval mystics like Hildegard von Bingen and Julian of Norwich (xviii-xx). That’s esteemed company! Add to which that this is the first monograph published by a woman in the history of the Maxwell Institute or FARMS, and it becomes clear that One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly is opening up new avenues for Mormon women’s writing. I’d like to talk for a few minutes tonight about what those avenues might be, exactly, by way of arguing that this book is as important for Mormon men to read as it is for Mormon women. [Read more…]

Hostile Sexism and LDS Trump Supporters

An article in Vox showed the statistical correlation between Trump supporters and hostile sexism. One interesting aspect of this analysis was that this is not an issue of Republicans in general being hostile to women, just a correlation between those who are and those who support Trump. The trend was not the same when Romney ran in 2012. Romney appealed to benevolent sexists rather than hostile sexists. The difference, as they say, is yuge. [Read more…]

Book reviews: Brown, Holbrook/Bowman, Mason

Book reviews never do the books justice, not fully – the complexity of argument, the fine examples, these are always lost. So, try not to be too disappointed in micro-reviews of these three fine books, each of which are extremely valuable resources. [Read more…]

#TexturesofMormonism

I am truly pleased to present to you one of the best kept secrets of the Mormon Instagram world.  Jon Bryner and Tallia Feltis are the mastermind couple behind the account @texturesofmormonism.   While very funny, they are equally thoughtful and deliberate.  They speak of both the humor and strange tenderness in this idea of shared nostalgia that Mormons literally all over the world can relate to.  My husband and I have spent more than one evening chuckling before bed as we scroll through the account.  Ah Mormons.  Something so strange and so funny about our collective aesthetic that somehow hasn’t changed in decades.

This is just a sampling of some of my favorites from the account.

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It’s Wednesday night! Hit like if you need a ride home from mutual. #foyerphone #texturesofmormonism

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Easter. The Passion of Jesus IX. Gethsemane part 7. Jesus Prays. How do we know? Our Prayers are Infected with Aristotle.

Part 10, here.
Part 8, here.

You can read the whole series here.

Gethsemane 7.

Jesus is coming into God’s presence, and Mark indicates it by saying Jesus falls to the ground. It’s Abrahamic. Luke doesn’t like this drastic picture: he has Jesus kneel—in control of himself always. Luke’s picture of Jesus in his trouble and finally his death is one that models the death of Christians in persecution. You see this in the death of Stephen.
Earlier, Mark reports that Jesus says (three different times) that he must suffer and die. But in prayer he now says, “And going a little further, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me.'” This seems illogical. Why is he praying for the trial to go away, when he’s already predicted that it will come?
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