Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

Post by Shulem »

Brother Ostler,

Welcome to Mormon Discussions. Come on in and discuss what you want with who you want. Pick your poison and take your best shot.


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Welcome Blake

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Blake has a documented history of being unhinged. Here are some very interesting online comments that Blake Ostler has posted in the past:

https://disqus.com/by/disqus_Drq9Iz54AQ/

Blake Guest 5 years ago
Sources? As it turns out, you do not know what the hell you are talking about.

Blake Danny 5 years ago
Danny: There are few crocks more crooked than someone who pretends to know what just ain't so -- as in your case. The evidence just will not support the kinds of prattle you are peddling.

Blake Danny 5 years ago
Danny: You are so full of it you have no idea. Look you cannot buffalo me -- I know the evidence. What I gave you was a gift of real assessment of evidence instead of anti-Mormon bull kindergarten crap.

Blake SmallAxe 5 years ago
SmallAxe: I know, I know. Sometimes I just cannot help it. I want to hold up a mirror and say, "See, you are a troll. Can't you see that?!"

Blake 5 years ago
Since TT does not give us his name or training he too fails to qualify for a substantive discussion -- not to mention failing to take personal accountability for what he writes. It is just a drive-by shooting. I suggest we let him him languish in his arrogance and non-existent scholarly "credentials" -- until he establishes otherwise. He simply fails to deal with any substance regarding what Gee has written and has engaged irresponsibly.

Blake 3 years ago
Looking for ways to justify your review in light of numbers is just moronic. And don't give me the "I am a critic so I have superior judgment" ____. I had no reason to like the movie but I just did. I hate to see critics acting like 3-year-ols to justify their negative reviews with obvious confirmation bias. Just stop it.

Blake Geno1987 3 years ago
Speaking of dicks. Have you even seen it? I also went in expecting a train-wreck and saw a movie that was beautifully crafted and epic. I enjoyed the hell out of it when I was prepared to hate because the critics are telling all of the sheeple what to think -- and it is clear you are one of them.

Blake 3 years ago
Geek: Please learn to speak English before posting your supposedly superior viewing opinion. The word is "worst" and not "worse." OK? Got it?

Blake 4 years ago
Brain-damaged teenagers and failure of story telling? Dead Pool was like an immature temper tamprum for those whose vocabulary allowed them to say "poo poo" and "pee pee" as a joke. Really?

Blake They Call Me Handsome Pants 4 years ago
Your assertions is both without substance and without merit -- mere assertions show absolutely nothing, remember? I will not be responding further to you until you apologize for you blatantly incorrect accusation that I walked away as some sort of admission. What is your real name coward?

Blake They Call Me Handsome Pants 4 years ago
I could care less what you demand. As a careful scholar, I will take whatever time is necessary. And who are you to "give me time"? Who died and made you the ruler?and let me have your real name coward

Blake Mark Hansen 4 years ago
Mark: this statement alone shows that you are a theological first-grader when it comes to Mormonism.

Blake Shelama 5 years ago
Shelama: My articles have been published in Religious Studies out of Oxford and the Internal Journal of Religious Studies out of the Netherlands -- so your ignorance is just being magnified. Do not further embarrass yourself. Really, just stop now while you are merely naïve.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Boy--I had no idea that he has such a history of being a hot-head. That's quite disappointing. There's nothing more pathetic than a grown man who can't control his anger.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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I find this the most revealing comment offered by Mr. Ostler made over FPR:

Let me know who you are so that I can see who I am dealing with you coward.

I pass over the wondrously comical possibilities left open by the lack of a comma in this sentence, because even more ridiculous is the premise: not the words or ideas of the person but the person behind those words is what matters.

The pomposity and mock-heroics that Mr. Ostler displays here are comic in their own way: in another comment at FPR, he imagines himself bravely standing for "personal accountability" in being a complete asshole under his real name, whereas he slanders SmallAxe and Yakov ben Tov as cowards for the spineless act of presenting ideas with a little warranted criticism under names not their own (so we presume).

Would it matter if we knew their names? Of course not. It makes as little difference to me whether anyone at FPR or anyone here is actually William Barr as it would if they were Roseanne Barr. I have formed my view of them and anyone else who posts this way purely from what they say and how they interact. I hope others do the same towards me; it is possible that I have an Ivy League Ph.D. and rest in an ivory tower of great height from which I could piss on the un-doctored likes of Mr. Blake Ostler, were I the Swiftian sort. On the other hand, I might be a former librarian living in Parowan, invited by the market to retire very early from that vocation because my AA degree from (then) Dixie College cannot compete with the MLS graduates from (now) UVU. Would it make my philological investigations and critiques here any more or less valid or accurate for that reason? Of course not. They should be judged on their merits. It is pure peer review, only democratic rather than hierarchical.

When he, like the other FARMS-types, posts under his own name, Mr. Ostler does he so not because it helps him to temper his behavior (obviously!) but because 1) it inflates his credibility as a non-coward in the eyes of his admirers, and 2) his name carries with it a certain reputation that should impose some restraint on his adversaries in dialogue. In short, his name comes with ready-made authority. If it were some pseudonymous guy commenting as Ostler does at FPR, the effect would be quite different and irrelevant.

Authority largely matters to people when they are forced by necessity to appeal to authority—if you need a doctor, say—or when authority imposes itself on them—the police, say—but there are some people whose nature inclines them to find heat and passion in the luster of authority (I believe there is a name for them).

I have been very naïve, perhaps stubbornly so, in holding to the belief that these so-called apologists are merely passionate partisans. I have a hard time seeing Hugh Nibley as a liar all around, though it is clear to those with the skills to detect his deception that he was indeed deceptive in numerous instances. He certainly was no authoritarian. John Gee's use of the evidence in the case of these manuscripts I have chosen to see as incompetence (branding an interpretation or an editorial choice a "mistake" rather than acknowledging a difference of opinion or editorial practice), though in other instances—I'm thinking especially of that Coptic story of Abraham and one of the Shapurs of Persia—it is hard not to see what he does there as total deception, given that he can read the language. Peterson I see as just an impresario who enjoys controlling discussion through snark (he does plagiarize, but on a blog, so it's hard for me to take even that seriously, since we start from a very low base-line with him; if he were a serious scholar with a published record, I'd feel differently). Midgley is grandpa Simpson now, but I hear in his younger days he had more humane approach to people on the opposite side of his beliefs. I am quite sure that if I had a spouse die before me, I would find great balm for my loneliness and longing as I age in being completely vicious to strangers online (the guy takes seriously comments on the Salt Lake Tribune website, which should tell you about how seriously anyone should take him).

I hope Ostler is not representative, though. It is hard to consider such a one as this to be a decent person (but let us emphasize our hope that this is not representative, that it is, rather, an unfortunate but rule-breaking exception):

I desire to know identities because I have a deep seated belief in personal accountability for actions. I want to know who says such nasty things and let others know how loathsome some commenting here.truly are. I have already learned 2 identities. One used a vpn but it was easy to crack because they used the same moniker before the vpn. I was not surprised and I think those who deal with them will be quite interested in their conduct and comments here and elsewhere.


Well, his thuggish and authoritarian tactics are obvious, but do you catch the elision? He slides from an admirably passionate commitment to personal accountability, which is supposed to lull us into a sense of justification and perhaps forgiveness for his reprehensible threats, down to a primitive form of communal justice. He wants a public flogging for his enemies, people whose greatest crime is disagreeing with him in public, which he takes as a sign of disrespect. The first kind cannot be enforced because it is a matter of individual conscience and is guilt-based, the second must be enforced as a matter of honor and operates on public shame. If one really cared about personal accountability, one would not need to know the names and identities of strangers whose words seem hostile, for they have their own conscience to accuse them, don't they? The real accountability he desires here is accountability to him.

And anyway, his use of his name online doesn't seem to keep him from being a complete prick. The man displays no shame in his comments at FPR. Why does he think it will work for anyone else? Perhaps because it is a rule that should apply to those beneath him in the chain of theological authority: he is a real philosopher and so can live by a higher moral code than the mere chatterers at FPR (to say nothing of me and my fellow reprobates here).

I had been intending to read his stuff for years until I heard him on a podcast a little over a year ago. The interview included near the beginning an interesting biographical story—interesting, because it's what he wanted to us listeners to know about him: decades afterwards, he was still immensely proud of the fact that he had solved (in his mind) some theological problem or other when he was very young (the the first down of youth had come upon his chin and cheeks but only a few years), and especially that his solution had attracted the attention of Neal Maxwell, who I guess was quite awed by the then boy wonder and future online thug, as he had him in for a private meeting (I think it was Maxwell—in any case, it was not some anonymous authority, and he clearly loved the attention from that great-famed authority). Then followed more airy-fairy theology before an argument of sorts based on the etymology of the Latin verb commendo (a species of non sequitur that was supposed to tell us what a "commandment" really is....suffice it to say, it did make me think of Mormon commandments about masturbation in a newly ironic light). Despite all his attempts to say something meaningful about Mormonism, the main points I got from the podcast were that 1) Blake Ostler loathes academia (hey, I'm first in line to that show) and 2) he was hugely impressed by his own intelligence. I can't help but think there is a resentful connection between those two items.

A loutish, self-satisfied lawyer who strives with the yearning of a wounded god to punish before the sight of true believers their enemies for the sin of expressing views he doesn't approve of: could there be a finer incarnation of the history of Mormon theology? Richard Bushman blurbed about another LDS theologian, Adam Miller, that he "is the most original and provocative Latter-day Saint theologian practicing today." That is only half-right. He may be original, but for provocation no Latter-day Saint theologian today can match the sparsely punctuated wit of Mr. Blake Ostler.

PS I should be greatly appreciative if anyone can answer my question I asked above in the thread about Dr. Peterson's six published articles referenced at FPR.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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A loutish, self-satisfied lawyer who strives with the yearning of a wounded god to punish before the sight of true believers their enemies for the sin of expressing views he doesn't approve of: could there be a finer incarnation of the history of Mormon theology? Richard Bushman blurbed about another LDS theologian, Adam Miller, that he "is the most original and provocative Latter-day Saint theologian practicing today." That is only half-right. He may be original, but for provocation no Latter-day Saint theologian today can match the sparsely punctuated wit of Mr. Blake Ostler.

I would like to be able to say that loutish and self-satisfied have nothing to do with Mormon theology because those words had nothing to do with my ideals as a young LDS person. But what am I to conclude from the examples of Elder McConkie, the Mopologists, and so many others?
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Speaking of the Oxford Journal of Religion, how many subscribers to that journal have converted to Mormonism, thanks to Ostler's Mormon philosophizing?

That's what I thought.

How many now think Mormon theology is respectable?

That's what I thought.

How many believe what they've read actually has anything to do with Mormonism?

Yet again, that is what I thought.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Vogel responds at FPR to Lindsay's essay,

See here.

Dan Vogel @ FPR wrote:Blake Ostler, for you to praise Lindsay’s essay and his discussion of Hebrew in GAEL tells me you don’t know what you are talking about because Lindsay certainly doesn’t. Gee tried to date the GAEL to early 1836 by arguing that the GAEL shows knowledge of Seixas’ transliteration system, but so far no one can show it. Now, Lindsay want to date it to late November 1835 when Cowdery arrived with the Hebrew books. The problem is that the knowledge of Hebrew goes little beyond the Hebrew Alphabet. Besides, W. W. Phelps was involved and could have helped.

Some try to argue that the presence of Hebrew proves WWP wrote the GAEL, but those who date it to 1836 must allow for Joseph Smith’s authorship. Can’t have it both ways.

WWP probably helped write the entries in the History of the Church in 1843 that date the Alphabets and at least the beginning of the bound GAEL to July 1835. The part of the GAEL (the end) that describes the Egyptian astronomy coincides with Joseph Smith’s journal entry for 1 Oct. 1835. These entries also have WWP assigning authorship of the GAEL to Smith. Gee doesn’t quote these passages, but he does try to argue that the entire BofA was translated in July 1835 without giving a reference, but the only source to mention translating some of the characters is the HC.

Lindsay went on and on about the Hebrew influence on the GAEL, even arguing that the lines for the five degrees and dots (Iota) were influenced by Hebrew vowel signs. However, the lines probably came from the papyri and the dots were not meant to be dots on the papyri but Joseph Smith and Co. interpreted the flaking of the ink as dots.

The old Nibley apologetic that the GAEL was written by Joseph Smith’s scribes in an effort to reverse engineer Joseph Smith translation of Abraham is dead. It was born out of ignorance of the actual documents and is maintained by Gee and Muhlestein, neither of whom know what they are doing when it comes to the English documents.

The Lindsay essay is a complete mess from beginning to end. His explanation for the two text of Abraham 1:4-2:6 being written simultaneously at Joseph Smith’s dictation, that Parrish was copying from a complete text of Abraham while reading the same out loud so that F. G. Williams could make a copy as well, is complete nonsense. In his explanation of how we get several in-line corrections in both manuscripts shows that he doesn’t know what a visual mistake is (dittography or haplography). Lindsay is no better than Gee and Muhlestein for inventing the worst kind of apologetic.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Kishkumen wrote:I would like to be able to say that loutish and self-satisfied have nothing to do with Mormon theology because those words had nothing to do with my ideals as a young LDS person. But what am I to conclude from the examples of Elder McConkie, the Mopologists, and so many others?

Well, my dear Reverend, I didn't mean to say or imply anything about Mormon ideals or even theology, so I probably slipped in the phrase "history of Mormon theology" too quietly, and I should have explained what I meant, though you clearly saw the outlines of my thought beneath my murky ineptitude: Mormon theology has been a contentious enterprise until relatively recent times, but Joseph Smith vs. everyone, Brigham Young vs. Pratt, Joseph Fielding Smith vs. the 20th century, Bruce R. McConkie vs. Eugene Englund, the FARMSians vs. the new MI are some notable examples in that history.

Fence Sitter wrote:Vogel responds at FPR to Lindsay's essay...

Vogel abounds in scholarly virtues, and many other kinds besides. A true gem.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Symmachus wrote:Vogel abounds in scholarly virtues, and many other kinds besides. A true gem.

I know, right?. And he's damn good looking for his age too.

ha ha

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Gadianton wrote:Speaking of the Oxford Journal of Religion, how many subscribers to that journal have converted to Mormonism, thanks to Ostler's Mormon philosophizing?

That's what I thought.

How many now think Mormon theology is respectable?

That's what I thought.

How many believe what they've read actually has anything to do with Mormonism?

Yet again, that is what I thought.

Some pointed questions. For those curious, Religious Studies, the journal in which Ostler published one article more than twenty years ago and which he refers to in the comments collected by Everybody Wang Chung as "coming out of Oxford" (and also referenced in his FAIR testimony here as connected with Oxford), is actually published by Cambridge University Press. A "careful scholar" indeed.

The article, by the way, is a somewhat polemical response to another article that had made an argument that Mormons weren't theists in the classical sense (which Mormons used to be proud of). A footnote reveals that Ostler's motivation is no different in a scholarly journal from a comment on a blog like FPR:

Howsepian presents a fourth option, asserting that Mormons may appear to believe in God (s), but in reality do not believe in any God(s) because 'in the case of Mormonism, such a discrepancy between appearance and reality might have become manifest ... because Mormons have been intentionally deceptive about what their actual theological beliefs are...' (idem, p. 36I). Such a view appears to me to express an obvious religious prejudice against Mormons and as such is a reprehensible ad hominem. Howsepian does not support this slander in any way, he merely throws it out gratuitously as a live possibility and then refuses to pursue it. What is the purpose of such an allegation aside from besmirching the collective character of a rather decent group of people?

Here is what Howesepian wrote on p. 361 of his article:

As we have clearly seen, Mormons do appear to believe in the existence of a plurality of Gods and, given the fact that McConkie is widely acknowledged to be speaking for the whole LDS Church on this matter, also appear to worship a plurality of Gods. But given what we have concluded concerning our first objective, we are not thereby warranted in making an inference from such an appearance to the fact of Mormon polytheism. It is obvious, we said, that one can appear to believe that p and, at the same time, actually not believe - or even disbelieve - that p. In the case of Mormonism, such a discrepancy between appearance and reality might have become manifest for at least the following two reasons: first, because Mormons have been intentionally deceptive about what their actual theological beliefs are ; and second, because no entity countenanced as being a God by the LDS Church, given any plausible characterization of the concept of deity, qualifies as being a genuine God

Surely, Ostler knows about McConkie's deception about Mormon conceptions of god: 1) because McConkie denied that Mormon leaders ever taught a polytheistic doctrine like Adam-God, and then 2) he privately admitted that they had for a time. This is well known.

Publicly disagreeing with Ostler's belief = slandering him and his tribe.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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I didn’t read much of this thread but I feel fine stating that Blake is a narcissistic asshole. When I was still in the Church I couldn’t believe the love his writings received. I heard individuals call Blake the Mormon Plato.

Someone on this board dismantled one of Blake’s works years ago. Anyone remember that thread?
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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lostindc wrote: When I was still in the Church I couldn’t believe the love his writings received. I heard individuals call Blake the Mormon Plato.

Based on Blake's online history of swearing, degrading individuals and crude language, I think a more appropriate comparison would be that Blake Ostler is the Andrew Dice Clay of Mormonism.

Also, I would like to add that Blake's fake hairpiece looks horrendous.

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Everybody Wang Chung wrote:Based on Blake's online history of swearing, degrading individuals and crude language, I think a more appropriate comparison would be that Blake Ostler is the Andrew Dice Clay of Mormonism.

I feel like it’d be too easy to drop a Joseph/Fanny Alger ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ joke right now.

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Symmachus wrote:I hope not to derail the topic, but I just have a factual question. SmallAxe makes the following comment in his review of Gee's review:

None of this is surprising given that the founder of the Interpreter has barely published any peer-reviewed work in his field over his 40+ year career (I can’t find more than six articles and one book). This would not meet the standards at any institution that BYU sees as a peer; and it is an embarrassment for many at BYU.

I don't think that's necessarily true. A scholarly monograph and six peer-reviewed articles are quite enough to get tenure in most humanities fields at probably all but a handful of schools. Doing nothing else after that won't get you promoted to full professor likely (although all kinds of factors are involved there and it's a little less formalized than tenure in my observation), but even so, given that he's referring to Daniel Peterson, my question is: what are the six scholarly articles that Peterson has published? The one book is the popularizing Muhammad biography published by an evangelical scholarly press (Eerdman's, I think) long after he'd received BYU's version of tenure, but I have never been able to find a single peer-reviewed article in a non-Mormon scholarly journal. My understanding is that he's had no scholarly monograph and no scholarly articles, though he has obviously published a significant amount of work in another genre.

Here’s a list of what Dr. Peterson categorized as “Articles and Reviews on Islamic and Arabic Subjects“ in his 2009 CV:
28) “A Prophet Emerging: Fetal Narratives in Islamic Literature.” In Vanessa R. Sasson and Jane Marie Law, eds., Imagining the Fetus: The Unborn in Myth, Religion, and Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 203-222.

27) “Identity, Muslim.” In Richard C. Martin, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 1:339-344.

26) “Fatwa.” In Richard C. Martin, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 1:255.

25) “Allah.” In Richard C. Martin, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 1:39-41.

24) “Transcendent Translations.” BYU Magazine 58/3 (Summer 2004): 3-4.

23) “Mercy.” In Jane Dammen McAuliffe, et al., eds., Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 3:377-380.

22) “Good News.” In Jane Dammen McAuliffe, et al., eds., Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 2:340-342.

21) “The Language of God: Understanding the Qur’an.” BYU Studies 40/4 (2001): 51- 68.

20) “Creation.” In Jane Dammen McAuliffe, et al., eds., Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 1:472-480.

19) “Understanding Islam.” In Spencer J. Palmer, ed., Mormons and Muslims: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations, updated and revised edition (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University Press, 2002), 11-43.

18) Translation of selections from Rahat al-‘Aql by Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani, for An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, edited by Seyyid Hossein Nasr with Mehdi Aminrazavi (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 175-192.

17) “Final Thoughts: Response to McClymond’s ‘Prophet or Loss.’” In David Noel Freedman and Michael J. McClymond, eds., The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders (Grand Rapids and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2001), 675-681.

16) “Muhammad.” In David Noel Freedman and Michael J. McClymond, eds., The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders (Grand Rapids and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2001), 457-612.

15) With Stephen D. Ricks. “The Throne Theophany/Prophetic Call of Muhammad.” In Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges, eds., The Disciple as Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson
(Provo: FARMS, 2000), 323-337.

14) Review of Charles Burnett, Magic and Divination in the Middle Ages: Texts and Techniques in the Islamic and Christian Worlds (Aldershot and Brookfield, Vermont: Variorum, 1996). In Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 11 (1999): 176- 179.

13) “Al-Kirmani on the Divine Tawhid.” In Charles Melville, ed., Proceedings of the Third European Conference in Iranian Studies, Part 2, Mediaeval and Modern Persian Studies (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1999), 179-193.

12) Review of Michael Fishbein, trans. The History of al-Tabari, vol. 8, The Victory of Islam (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), and of Adrian Brockett, trans., The History of al-Tabari, vol. 16: The Community Divided (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997). In International Journal of Middle East Studies 31 (1999): 124-126.

11) On-line review of John Renard, ed., Windows on the House of Islam: Muslim Sources on Spirituality and Religious Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). In The Medieval Review (16 February 1999).
[http://www.hti.umich.edu/b/bmr/mbrowse.html]

10) “Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani on Creation.” In Ahmad Hasnawi, Abdelali Elamrani- Jamal, and Maroun Aouad, eds., Perspectives arabes et médiévales sur la tradition scientifique et philosophique grecque: Actes du colloque de la SIHSPAI (Société internationale d’histoire des sciences et de la philosophie arabes et islamiques): Paris, 31 mars -3 Avril 1993, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 79 (Louvain and Paris: Peeters and Institut du monde arabe, 1997), 555-567.

9) With William J. Hamblin. “Zaydiyah.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L. Esposito. 4 vols. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. 4:373-374.

8) “Isma‘iliyah.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L. Esposito. 4 vols. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. 2:341- 342.

7) With William J. Hamblin. “Eschatology.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L. Esposito. 4 vols. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. 1:440-442.

6) Note on Logic and Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Poetics in Medieval Arabic Philosophy, by Deborah L. Black (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990). In Religious Studies Review 20/1 (January 1994): 72.

5) Note on Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions, edited by John Kelsay and James Turner Johnson (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1991). In Religious Studies Review 20/1 (January 1994): 71.

4) With William J. Hamblin. “Neoplatonism and the Medieval Mediterranean Magical Traditions.” In Incognita: International Journal for Cognitive Studies in the Humanities 2 (1991): 217-240.

3) Abstract of “Cosmogony and the Ten Separated Intellects in the Rahat al-‘Aql of Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani,” a 1990 Malcolm H. Kerr Award Winning Dissertation. In Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 25 (July 1991): 41-42.

2) With Spencer J. Palmer, Roger R. Keller, and James A. Toronto. “Islam.” In Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint View, edited by Spencer J. Palmer and Roger R. Keller, 180-195. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1990.

1) “Does the Qur’an Teach Creation Ex Nihilo?” In By Study and Also By Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 27 March 1990, edited by John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks, 1:584-610. 2 vols. Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Company and Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1990.

And another item I located:

Review: Anthology of Arabic Literature, Culture, and Thought from Pre-Islamic Times to the Present by Bassam K. Frangieh, al-'Arabiyya, Vol. 38/39 (2005-2006), pp. 181-182.

What qualifies as a “peer-reviewed article in a non-Mormon scholarly journal.” How about number 4) above?

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Tom wrote:....

What qualifies as a “peer-reviewed article in a non-Mormon scholarly journal.” How about number 4) above?

Thank you, Tom, for your detailed answer. This explains why I have never found Dr. Peterson's work appear in any of the major scholarly databases. Yes, 4) is about the closest we come to finding a publication in a non-Mormon scholarly journal, though I note that it was with a co-author (Hamblin). But Incognita published only two issues (apparently Dr. Peterson published in the second and last) and the journal is now defunct. From what I can find, the founding editor was a scholar of magic and gnosticism, Iaon Culianu; he was murdered under very suspicious circumstances (perhaps to do with Romanian intelligence). Culianu, like that other Romanian in Chicago of whom Hugh Nibley was so fond, appears to have been almost a devotee of his subject rather than a mere student of it.

That, in any case, is the only example of an article that presumably was peer-reviewed, although Incognita seems to have had a strong ideological bent, to judge from this retrospective of Culianu (note that "incognita" means literally "things unknown," and is the Latin equivalent of "the Unknown.") In any case, new journals usually take a few years to build up their quality and reputation (measured by the inverse proportion of submissions to rejections). Incognita, it seems, never had that chance, as no one picked up the (ideological?) project after Culianu's murder.

To sum up: one co-authored article in a short-lived niche publication over the course of a thirty-plus year career. One popular book that is largely based on secondary scholarship (particularly W. Montgomery Watt), favorably reviewed by a freelance writer in BYU Studies. The rest are edited volumes (which aren't peer-reviewed), book reviews (let us assume they were solicited by editors), publications from conferences (these aren't really peer-reviewed either but instead selected from the group based on whatever the conference organizers want), and encyclopedia articles, which, like book reviews, do attest to a certain level of confidence on the part of the editors in minimum professional competence but aren't original scholarship and are not subject to peer-review (there wouldn't be a point for it). Book reviews and encyclopedia articles don't generally count for much in evaluating original scholarly contributions in, say, a tenure application. Conference publications and essays in multi-authored volumes are only slightly more relevant.

Everything else is BYU Studies or apologetics. And of course Sic et Non.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Thanks for the interesting background on the journal and its editor, Symmachus.

I should clarify that the reason I used a 2009 CV as my source is because I haven’t located a more recent version. I also looked through Jstor and Google Scholar for more recent peer-reviewed articles of his on Islamic/Arabic topics, but I didn’t find anything relevant.

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Tom, I'm sure all of his peer-reviewed articles have been published in the years since 2009. After all, it does take a few years to update some of these databases.
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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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I read Ostler’s interview of McMurrin today (1981). He presented as a balanced and thoughtful individual at the time - and with an admitted heretic no less - as a student, if I am reading the preface correctly.

So, what happened?

When and why did Ostler don the mask of the raving lunatic thug who blasts anonymous heretics as cowards? What traumatic event catalyzed his metamorphosis from nuanced student caterpillar into the Menacing Moth of Mormon Madness?
Last edited by Dr Moore on Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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I remember when Blake Ostler was considered a heretic by certain BYU religion faculty members. (See his 1987 Dialogue article.) Those were the days.

Would someone mind asking smallaxe on FPR to identify Dr. Peterson’s six articles?

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Dr Moore wrote:I read Ostler’s interview of McMurrin today (1981). He presented as a balanced and thoughtful individual at the time - and with an admitted heretic no less - as a student, if I am reading the preface correctly.

So, what happened?

When and why did Ostler don the mask of the raving lunatic thug who blasts anonymous heretics as cowards? What traumatic event catalyze his metamorphosis from nuanced student caterpillar into the Menacing Moth of Mormon Madness?

Ostler doesn't come through as a personality in this interview; if I were cynical, I would focus on this fact:

Blake Ostler, a student at BYU in the fall of 1981 when the interview was conducted, is now a law student and member of the Law Review staff at the University of Utah.

No surprise that he would be respectful towards McMurrin, a high ranking administrator of the university where he might (and did) end up applying for admission to its law school. Or maybe he didn't think McMurrin was a coward.

Thanks for calling our attention to this interview, esteemed professor. I was delighted to read McMurrin's views and how he developed them. Some are very close to my own, especially this:

My point is that I came to the conclusion at a very early age, earlier than I can remember, that you don't get books from angels and translate them by miracles; it is just that simple. So I simply don't believe the Book of Mormon to be authentic.
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

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Re: Blake Ostler Erupts with Rage on FPR

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Symmachus wrote:No surprise that he would be respectful towards McMurrin, a high ranking administrator of the university where he might (and did) end up applying for admission to its law school. Or maybe he didn't think McMurrin was a coward.

My point is that I came to the conclusion at a very early age, earlier than I can remember, that you don't get books from angels and translate them by miracles; it is just that simple. So I simply don't believe the Book of Mormon to be authentic.

On reflection, this is an insightful link if Ostler were posturing for admission to the Utah law school. But he was at BYU, and I was willing to be generous in recognizing that he followed a long train of respectful questions, despite the obvious distance from orthodoxy and potential risk by association.

I too very much enjoyed reading McMurrin’s synthesis of how to constructively engage with Mormonism as a non literal believer.

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