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 Post subject: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuked
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:06 pm 
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This afternoon I had a couple of hours on my hands, thanks to an obligatory long commute, so I fired up the latest Mormon Matters to listen to Professor Patrick Mason of Claremont University and others discuss the history of LDS apologetics. I highly recommend this podcast, which was released by both Mormon Matters and Mormon Stories. Students in Doctor Scratch's advanced seminar in Mopologetics are highly encouraged to listen to this.

Why is it so important? The careful listener will not only be treated to a handy overview of the history of Mormon apologetics, but she or he will also be able to discern differences between what we call "Mopologetics" and regular old apologetics. It was gratifying to hear other bonafide academics at peer institutions confirm what we at Cassius University have long known: that Mopologetics was acerbic, to put it mildly; its practitioners engaged in ad hominem arguments; and there is strong evidence that their work was used by the Strengthening Church Members Committee.

In short, Cassius University scholarship has had an impact. Indeed, its validity is affirmed. This is an accomplishment that Dean Robbers, Doctor Scratch, and other Cassius faculty and staff should find very gratifying. Excellent work, gentlemen and ladies of Cassius! Your hard work has made a mark on the field.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Congratulations Cassius! Due to the painstaking efforts of the faculty, Mopologetics has become part of the Mormon lexicon.

In the summer of 2012 and after being placed on a waiting list for 8 months, I was finally lucky enough get a coveted spot in Doctor Scratch's advanced seminar in Mopologetics. Hands down, it was the best class I've ever attended.

Nobody has had a more distinguished career filled with accolades, awards, prestige and honor than Dr. Scratch. If Cassius is ever able to convince Dr. Scratch to offer his Mopologetic seminar again, do whatever is necessary to enroll.

Great teaching is a mixture of art, science, the ability to keep students’ attention and convey complex information. Dr. Scratch is a master, and his unique talent for occassionaly mixing in a few jokes, props or DCP stories make his teaching style and his seminar even more memorable.

Only two months left until Dr. Scratch unveils his 2017 Top 10 Happenings in Mopologetics!!

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Everybody Wang Chung wrote:
If Cassius is ever able to convince Dr. Scratch to offer his Mopologetic seminar again, do whatever is necessary to enroll.

Please pray tell what that would be. I've been on that waiting list 8 years come next month.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Porson, Bentley, Wolf, Boeckh, Droysen, Wilamowitz, Wackernagel, Mommsen, Von Harnack, Wellhausen, Brugmann, Nöldecke, Brockelmann, and now Rev. Kishkumen and Dr. Scratch.

Per aspera ad astra, Cassiani!

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Symmachus wrote:
Porson, Bentley, Wolf, Boeckh, Droysen, Wilamowitz, Wackernagel, Mommsen, Von Harnack, Wellhausen, Brugmann, Nöldecke, Brockelmann, and now Rev. Kishkumen and Dr. Scratch.

Per aspera ad astra, Cassiani!


Dearest consul, your praise is overwhelming. It makes a crusty old Jaredite scholar tear up.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:31 pm 
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sock puppet wrote:
Everybody Wang Chung wrote:
If Cassius is ever able to convince Dr. Scratch to offer his Mopologetic seminar again, do whatever is necessary to enroll.

Please pray tell what that would be. I've been on that waiting list 8 years come next month.

Is there a waiting list for the waiting list?!?


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Doctor Scratch is not only a terrifying scholar but a statesman and a diplomat. None have show more kindness and understanding toward their interlocutors than Doctor Scratch.

I listened to the podcast. My takeaway concerning the Old Guard was that in the foreground, you have this self-commissioned "reconnaissance unit" heavily invested in "intellectual swordplay" with critics and that's what draws the eye. But in the background, Mormon apologetics follows the trajectory of apologetics as it develops within other faith communities. Mormon apologetics followed the lead of others a century ago when picking up the spade in defense of the Bible was fashionable, and likewise it follows Today when a spade in hand makes one look foolish at best, and at worst, a fevered literalist.

I agree with the Rev that it's heartening to see another institution draw similar conclusions to ours. In the history of mathematics and the hard sciences, many of the deepest and most exact truths of the universe are revealed independently to researches greatly separated from one another in time and place. Likewise here, Claremont becomes a second witness to an objective cosmological truth -- the transient, bankrupt nature of Mopologetics.


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:32 am 
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Lemmie wrote:
Is there a waiting list for the waiting list?!?


I dare say the Good Doctor will have a free seat for a faculty auditor. Our Honor Code Council is lucky to have you at the helm.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:47 am 
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Gadianton wrote:
I listened to the podcast. My takeaway concerning the Old Guard was that in the foreground, you have this self-commissioned "reconnaissance unit" heavily invested in "intellectual swordplay" with critics and that's what draws the eye. But in the background, Mormon apologetics follows the trajectory of apologetics as it develops within other faith communities. Mormon apologetics followed the lead of others a century ago when picking up the spade in defense of the Bible was fashionable, and likewise it follows Today when a spade in hand makes one look foolish at best, and at worst, a fevered literalist.


Once again the Dean caps off a discussion with his incisive commentary! We are honored, Dean Robbers. You are correct. Mopologetics was about doing combat, and the good scholars on this podcast acknowledged that the targets could be outsiders or members of the Church. There were a number of other rather pointed criticisms of “classic-FARMS” we should incorporate into our syllabi, but I need to go back through the podcast to pick these gems out.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:00 am 
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Can you tell us who the key participants were in the podcast and whether fisticuffs could be heard going on in the background. and to whom did much of the blame or praise go to, and who is now considered to hold the TBM apolgetics chair in the community?


kairos


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:03 am 
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Kishkumen wrote:

Once again the Dean caps off a discussion with his incisive commentary! We are honored, Dean Robbers. You are correct. Mopologetics was about doing combat, and the good scholars on this podcast acknowledged that the targets could be outsiders or members of the Church. There were a number of other rather pointed criticisms of “classic-FARMS” we should incorporate into our syllabi, but I need to go back through the podcast to pick these gems out.


I've told this story before. I had Dr Midgley as a professor at BYU for several classes in the late 70s to early 80s, and quite enjoyed his lectures, mostly because he liked to go off on tangents related to what was going on in apologetics then. I even remember attending a small get together of BYU professors one night at a residence where strategy and tactics were discussed. ( That is the extent of what I remember there, I wish I had taken notes.)

One of my most vivid memories of Dr Midgley is during a tangent in class about apologetic s, him using this line to describe apologetics "this is a war". And based on the smile on his face, a war he very much enjoyed.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:17 am 
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Gadianton wrote:
Doctor Scratch is not only a terrifying scholar . . . .

Speaking of which, I shall never forget my first day in Dr. Scratch's advanced seminar in Mopologetics. On that beautiful fall day many years ago, I endured an hour of withering Socratic dialogue with the professor regarding the day's assigned texts: Dr. Peterson's essays, "Text and Context" and "Of Polemics." The end of this classic movie scene mirrors what I did at the end of that first class. As they say, the rest is history. I hope that Dr. Scratch will soon be honored with a Festschrift.

I enjoyed the podcast, though I must confess that it's a bit disappointing that nobody who has ever had any actual involvement with Cassius University was invited to participate.


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:18 am 
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Kishkumen wrote:

Why is it so important? The careful listener will not only be treated to a handy overview of the history of Mormon apologetics, but she or he will also be able to discern differences between what we call "Mopologetics" and regular old apologetics. It was gratifying to hear other bonafide academics at peer institutions confirm what we at Cassius University have long known: that Mopologetics was acerbic, to put it mildly; its practitioners engaged in ad hominem arguments; and there is strong evidence that their work was used by the Strengthening Church Members Committee.


It's good to acknowledge the acerbic and ad hominem. It's probably wise to not be overly dramatic or smug about this, as Mason suggests. The overly dramatic and smugness is precisely the problems with the old school starting with Nibley.

I think the comment by Birch about the evidence of being an arm of the SCMC was interesting. I wonder if Peterson will respond as he tends to do. They said a lot about him--invoked his name quite a bit. It would have been really interesting to have him sitting in as part of it, since they all mentioned the value of letting people speak for themselves (I don't say that in defense of him, necessarily). Just curious about his coming clarification about what happened in 2012 (the thousandth time) and what he sees as problematic with this approach.

I also really enjoyed the comment by Mason that there is a strain of people still out there wanting to point out what they perceive as the failure of Mason's approach. But his comments on that were very interesting, said in a way that I really appreciate. But John said it, the approach that Mason holds is something quite foreign to General Conference Mormonism. The Church is a tough place to find room in.


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:29 am 
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kairos wrote:
Can you tell us who the key participants were in the podcast and whether fisticuffs could be heard going on in the background. and to whom did much of the blame or praise go to, and who is now considered to hold the TBM apolgetics chair in the community?


kairos


Greetings, kairos,

The participants were:

John Dehlin, PhD
Dan Wotherspoon, PhD
Brian D. Birch, PhD, Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University
Patrick Mason, PhD, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at the Claremont Graduate University

There were no fisticuffs, although I think it is fair to say that John's penchant for hyperbole was greeted with some amusement and pushback from the other participants.

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Last edited by Kishkumen on Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:32 am 
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Fence Sitter wrote:
I've told this story before. I had Dr Midgley as a professor at BYU for several classes in the late 70s to early 80s, and quite enjoyed his lectures, mostly because he liked to go off on tangents related to what was going on in apologetics then. I even remember attending a small get together of BYU professors one night at a residence where strategy and tactics were discussed. ( That is the extent of what I remember there, I wish I had taken notes.)

One of my most vivid memories of Dr Midgley is during a tangent in class about apologetic s, him using this line to describe apologetics "this is a war". And based on the smile on his face, a war he very much enjoyed.


We need to have you drop by for a guest lecture in our Mopologetics program, Fence Sitter. This sounds very enlightening. So, you began the process of initiation into the cabal of BYU apologists who were meeting in private to discuss Mopologetic strategy and tactics. In other words, you can provide excellent, eyewitness testimony for the history of the field. Fascinating!

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:33 am 
God

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Kishkumen wrote:
Lemmie wrote:
Is there a waiting list for the waiting list?!?


I dare say the Good Doctor will have a free seat for a faculty auditor. Our Honor Code Council is lucky to have you at the helm.

I would be deeply honored and most grateful, although I must humbly acknowledge that my shooting-fish-in-a-barrel assignment on the Council has been minor at best.


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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:38 am 
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Tom wrote:
I enjoyed the podcast, though I must confess that it's a bit disappointing that nobody who has ever had any actual involvement with Cassius University was invited to participate.


Yes, such is life. The role that Cassius faculty played in the major events of Mopologetics was mostly behind the scenes. It is not the kind of thing that will be expatiated on in the mainstream histories of that period. We may yet see some names pop up in footnotes in the future, but, honestly, our connection has always been more intellectual in nature, and we stand outside of the internal dialogue that dominates. One is either a neo-apologist or a Mopologist in this conversation. That is how the narrative has taken shape. Ex-LDS people, with the exception of John Dehlin, who occupies a unique position, have been very much sidelined in the conversation. It is a pity, but I think it is to be expected.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:40 am 
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Lemmie wrote:
I would be deeply honored and most grateful, although I must humbly acknowledge that my shooting-fish-in-a-barrel assignment on the Council has been minor at best.


Well, your contributions hold a special place in our hearts, regardless of your expressions of humility.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:51 am 
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Stem wrote:
It's good to acknowledge the acerbic and ad hominem. It's probably wise to not be overly dramatic or smug about this, as Mason suggests. The overly dramatic and smugness is precisely the problems with the old school starting with Nibley.


I think it is important for Mason not to be overly dramatic and smug because of the position he occupies as one who must navigate the relationship between a career as a Mormon Studies scholar and an active membership in the Mormon Church, which has leaders who threw their support behind Mopologetics.

I don't think it is at all important that the faculty of Cassius avoid smugness and drama, as that would spoil the entire spirit of our response to Mopologetics.

Stem wrote:
I think the comment by Birch about the evidence of being an arm of the SCMC was interesting. I wonder if Peterson will respond as he tends to do. They said a lot about him--invoked his name quite a bit. It would have been really interesting to have him sitting in as part of it, since they all mentioned the value of letting people speak for themselves (I don't say that in defense of him, necessarily). Just curious about his coming clarification about what happened in 2012 (the thousandth time) and what he sees as problematic with this approach.


It is of academic interest, clearly, but I am not sure we can glean all that much from the predictable denials that issue forth from Sic et Non and other Petersonian venues. Mistakes were not made and certainly not by him--this is what one can usually expect. Any deviation from that message would be a big surprise, not to mention noteworthy.

Stem wrote:
I also really enjoyed the comment by Mason that there is a strain of people still out there wanting to point out what they perceive as the failure of Mason's approach. But his comments on that were very interesting, said in a way that I really appreciate. But John said it, the approach that Mason holds is something quite foreign to General Conference Mormonism. The Church is a tough place to find room in.


Hey, in the minds of some people, the LDS Church can do no right. And that is really the product of the expectations the Church itself has lived and breathed on for generations. As they say in the podcast, at the center of Mormonism stand bold claims, and Neo-Apologetics definitely tame that boldness. If you lead with a very literalistic claim and then respond to the faith crisis by saying, "don't be so literal," such a message will not be embraced enthusiastically by many.

A lot more thought, writing, and discussion need to take place before a viable path forward emerges. Neo-Apologetics is still in its infancy. Hopefully they will find a way to address the problems created by decades of inadequate discussion and anti-intellectualism.

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
Is there a waiting list for the waiting list?!?

LOL!

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 Post subject: Re: Congratulations to Cassius Scholars: Mopologetics Rebuke
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
I would be deeply honored and most grateful, although I must humbly acknowledge that my shooting-fish-in-a-barrel assignment on the Council has been minor at best.


Don't sell yourself short there, Prof. Lemmie.

:mrgreen:

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