December 30, 2009

Life On Gold Plates 2009: Year in Review

It's been a fun, but busy, year between working full time and going to school full time. In case you missed some of my stuff, here's a quick look at the highlights from the past year:

Over the last week LoGP hit the mark of 80,000 visits, which is pretty cool. The peak month was August when I blogged the FAIR conference.

This year I was privileged to rub shoulders with many fine scholars and some of these meetings turned into blog posts. I shared a cab with Jan Shipps, listened to two lectures from Kathleen Flake (one in Boston, the other in Logan), and had a conversational lunch with journalist Krista Tippett. My first guest post ever was provided by Grant Hardy. In collaboration with David Keller and a few other folks I also initiated the Translation Witness Account (TWA) project, which is an effort to gather all of the statements regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon into one location. This is still in process and I have no ETA on the TWA.

I had the opportunity to present a paper for the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology on the subject of soteriologial ecumenicism and C.S. Lewis. The paper is currently being peer reviewed by Dialogue, so hopefully it will be published next year. (Dialogue is also publishing a much-improved version of my book review of the Amasa Lyman biography next summer.) I had some left-overs from my C.S. Lewis research to present at the Salt Lake Sunstone symposium on the subject of how Lewis has been employed by Latter-day Saints and what Lewis might have known about the Church.

The antiquarian in me put together a post about the false start of a partial reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple in the late 60s and the discovery of Hugh Nibley's first known publication (a sketch of a ship, of all things!). After live-blogging my notes of the 2009 FAIR conference I was happy to complete a series on faith and reason with Gregory L. Smith called "Consecrate Your Brain." I also investigated the production or structure of two newer church manuals, the Joseph Smith manual and the new Gospel Principles manual. Above all, it was the year of the book review at Life On Gold Plates. In case you missed one, here they all are:

Finally, my favorite posts this year. Three particularly stand out as worth reading. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Islam's Hijab [headscarf] and Mormon Garments: On Clothing as Broadcasting.
In this post I talk a little about religious vestments, their visibility, and the religious content clothing can hold. 

2. "In their weakness, after the manner of their language": Joseph Smith's Revelations, Revisions, and Canonization.
Inspired by the Joseph Smith Papers Project, this post talks about the religious authority believers grant to their sacred scriptures. Looking at the recording and adjusting of Joseph Smith's revelations has interesting implications for how Latter-day Saints might understand the "word of God."

3. "The Death of the Old Order": Resurrection, Community, and Identity.
I feel like who I am is largely shaped by my surroundings, the people and places I know. I wonder how we will appear with the backdrop of immortality instead of this lone and dreary world.

Thanks to all the folks who take the time to read this stuff, and especially those who pitch in with advice and comments.


Anonymous said...

What about TWA?

BHodges said...

oops, good catch. Added.

WVS said...

It's all good Blair. Thanks for the summary.

J. Stapley said...

Strong work! I always look forward to your posts.

Phoebe said...

Oh oh--I forgot to send in my order for the George Watt biography before January 1. Resolution # 9: No buying new books until I've read the stack on my end table. I am torn, but I am going to remain content with rereading your book reviews for now.

Thanks for your efforts and time spent on this blog.

BHodges said...

I'm glad you guys stop by. said...

If you set out to make me think today; mission accomplished! I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you.
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