No, I haven’t died…

…I’ve just been busy for the past week. I actually have at least one post in incomplete draft form; I may tackle something else first. The challenge with discussing LDS cosmology and related doctrine is that it’s hard to pull one particular topic out of context and discuss it in isolation. I’ll try to get something up by tomorrow (i.e., later today, Wednesday). I did, however, write a lengthy response to a comment on my post about education and intellect.

In the meantime, let me recommend one of the books I’m currently reading: Muhammad, Prophet of God by Daniel C. Peterson (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 2007). I’m impressed with both the style and content of the book — accessible and yet very informative. Peterson heads up the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) at Brigham Young University, a joint effort with the University of Chicago Press to provide clear, modern, scholarly translations of classic medieval Islamic, Eastern Christian, and Jewish texts.

I can also recommend Black and Mormon, edited by Newell G. Bringhurst and Darron T. Smith (University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL, 2006), which I just finished a few days ago. This is an outstanding, if occasionally uneven, set of essays discussing historical aspects of the LDS Church’s denial of priesthood ordination to African blacks from the late 1840s to 1978, as well as both analytical and anecdotal analysis of challenges (and blessings) faced by blacks who joined the LDS Church both before and after the change of policy in 1978. I bought it on the strength of the positive review in the current edition of BYU Studies (Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 165 ff.); the reviewer, Emmanuel A. Kissi, is an LDS convert (and medical doctor) from Ghana who –besides his own work — serves as an Area Authority Seventy in Africa. ..bruce..

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