Videos of the presentations given at The Academy for Temple Studies conference “The Lady of the Temple,” on October 23, 2013, in Logan, Utah, are now available for free viewing. The videos can be watched in 1080p HD resolution, on the Academy for Temple Studies YouTube channel, on the Academy’s website, as well as embedded below. [Read more…]
The Academy for Temple Studies and the Utah State University Religious Studies program have announced a conference entitled “The Lady of the Temple: Examining the Divine Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” It will be held on October 23, 2013 on the campus of Utah State University. Speakers will include Margaret Barker, Laurence Hemming, William Dever, Alyson Von Feldt, and Valerie Hudson.
You may see more details and register for the conference at the Academy for Temple Studies website.
What is mysticism? That is the million dollar question.
It is incredibly difficult to define. Wikipedia defines it as the “pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight.” What? By combining all possible definitions into one, they have created an incomprehensible one.
Let’s turn to some closer associates. Hugh Nibley once defined it, quoting Eduard Lehmann, as “an intuitive and ecstatic union with the deity obtained by means of contemplation and other mental exercises.” Professor William Hamblin turns to oft-repeated definitions such as “a domain of religion that deals with the search for and the attainment of a profound experiential knowledge of God or of ultimate reality,” or, “mysticism is … a type of religious experience which involves a sense of union or merging with either God or an all-pervading spiritual force in the universe,” but finds even these lacking. In Kevin Christensen’s recent Interpreter review of Margarget Barker’s book Temple Mysticism: An Introduction he indicated that his “favorite LDS approach” to the topic has become Mark E. Koltko’s essay “Mysticism and Mormonism: An LDS Perspective on Transcendence and Higher Consciousness,” found in the April 1989 issue of Sunstone. We’ll come back to this shortly. Christensen notes that while Nibley’s view tends to be the more conventional definition, Margaret Barker’s own use of the term in her book is very different still, focusing on the experience of “seeing the Lord,” i.e. a temple theophany. While different, there is clearly overlap between the ideas of “a union with deity,” and “seeing God,” as Matthew Bowen also elucidates in his recent article in Interpreter. Koltko’s essay also perhaps helps bridge the gap. [Read more…]
A new book is available entitled Mormonism and the Temple: Examining an Ancient Religious Tradition. Edited by Gary N. Anderson and published by BYU Studies in conjunction with Utah State University Department of Religious Studies and the Academy for Temple Studies in Logan, Utah, it contains the proceedings of a conference that was held under the same title on the campus of Utah State University on 29 October 2012, and includes the following presentations:
- Gary N. Anderson, Philip L. Barlow, and John W. Welch, “About This Publication”
- Philip L. Barlow, “Welcome and Opening Comments by Presenters”
- Margaret Barker, “Restoring Solomon’s Temple”
- Laurence Paul Hemming, “Chapel, Church, Temple, Cathedral: Lost Parallels in Mormon and Catholic Worship”
- Margaret Barker and Laurence Hemming, “Questions and Answers”
- John F. Hall, “Ancient Mediterranean Temple Ceremonies: Vestiges of the Rites of Enoch and Precursors to the Hebrew Temple Ceremonial”
- John W. Welch, “The Temple, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Gospel of Matthew”
- Daniel C. Peterson, “A Divine Mother in the Book of Mormon?”
- Danel W. Bachman, “A Temple Studies Bibliography”
- LeGrande Davies, “Temples–Bridges of Eternity”
- John L. Fowles, “The Temple, the Book of Revelation, and Joseph Smith”
- John W. Welch and Presenters, “Closing Comments”
Those who attended the Logan conference will receive a copy of the book as it was included in their registration. If you did not attend the conference, you may also order a copy for $20. Currently, the book can be ordered from BYU Studies at 801-422-6691, or at 1063 JFSB BYU Provo 84602. At some point it may also be available for ordering online.
Videos of the proceedings are available for viewing online here.
The conference “Mormonism and the Temple: Examining an Ancient Religious Tradition,” which took place on October 29, 2012 in Logan, Utah, was filmed, and some of the videos are now available for free in 1080p HD resolution on the Academy for Temple Studies YouTube channel, the Academy’s TempleStudies.org website, as well as embedded below here. The rest of the presenters’ videos are forthcoming. [Read more…]