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Thread: An approach to LDS history: 9 ProTips from Richard Bushman

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    An approach to LDS history: 9 ProTips from Richard Bushman

    This will fascinate some, annoy some (summon Seattle Ute), and be very helpful to some:

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/17915/r...-on-mormonism/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    His suggestion of "move to Manhattan" pretty clearly suggests that he has drifted into apostasy.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This will fascinate some, annoy some (summon Seattle Ute), and be very helpful to some:

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/17915/r...-on-mormonism/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    He didn't write this. But assuming it's a fair representation, there's a tremendous amount of unbeliever subtext here. I would be surprised if there's a any difference between his beliefs and mine.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  4. #4
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    He didn't write this. But assuming it's a fair representation, there's a tremendous amount of unbeliever subtext here. I would be surprised if there's a any difference between his beliefs and mine.
    There's a chance he's a BYU fan, so that's one potential yawning chasm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #5
    ...and the Tribal Shaming begins.
    (This is a response to Bushman's article written by a byu professor)

    http://welcomingtheother.blogspot.co...d-bushman.html

    I firmly believe that Richard and Claudia Bushman would have been at byu in the early 90s they would have been included with the September Six. (RB also believes this, iirc he mentioned it in his Mormon Stories interview)

    Richard Bushman is a good example of a Fowler Stage Five to Six believer. He has found a way to look beyond all of the obvious issues and doctrinal inconsistencies and simply embrace the paradoxes and transcendence lying behind the surface of the man-made symbols and beliefs.

    And that will get him the Ron Poelman treatment from byu professors and FAIR.

  6. #6
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    ...and the Tribal Shaming begins.
    (This is a response to Bushman's article written by a byu professor)

    http://welcomingtheother.blogspot.co...d-bushman.html

    I firmly believe that Richard and Claudia Bushman would have been at byu in the early 90s they would have been included with the September Six. (RB also believes this, iirc he mentioned it in his Mormon Stories interview)

    Richard Bushman is a good example of a Fowler Stage Five to Six believer. He has found a way to look beyond all of the obvious issues and doctrinal inconsistencies and simply embrace the paradoxes and transcendence lying behind the surface of the man-made symbols and beliefs.

    And that will get him the Ron Poelman treatment from byu professors and FAIR.
    Well, I found the Wheat and Tares blog link on Dan Peterson's Patheos page. And Bushman is a stake patriarch. So there's that.

    And the response you link from a BYU English teacher seems pretty reasonable. EDIT: Why do you consider that piece "tribal shaming?"
    Last edited by LA Ute; 07-27-2015 at 01:45 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    ...and the Tribal Shaming begins.
    (This is a response to Bushman's article written by a byu professor)

    http://welcomingtheother.blogspot.co...d-bushman.html

    I firmly believe that Richard and Claudia Bushman would have been at byu in the early 90s they would have been included with the September Six. (RB also believes this, iirc he mentioned it in his Mormon Stories interview)

    Richard Bushman is a good example of a Fowler Stage Five to Six believer. He has found a way to look beyond all of the obvious issues and doctrinal inconsistencies and simply embrace the paradoxes and transcendence lying behind the surface of the man-made symbols and beliefs.

    And that will get him the Ron Poelman treatment from byu professors and FAIR.
    Sorry, being a Patriarch isn't something that you can just mail in... and I might say even more than a bishop or stake president. It is a calling that you are either a true believer or you just don't/can't do it. Particularly because on top of the obvious belief in spiritual guidance, it is a calling you essentially do on your own with little to no guidance. A stake president reviews on occasion a sampling of the blessings given but the Stake President gives no direction to them.

    I think that is perplexing to people because Bushman is a true believer yet probably knows more about church history than just about anyone and could probably gain much more personally not being a believer.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Sorry, being a Patriarch isn't something that you can just mail in... and I might say even more than a bishop or stake president. It is a calling that you are either a true believer or you just don't/can't do it. Particularly because on top of the obvious belief in spiritual guidance, it is a calling you essentially do on your own with little to no guidance. A stake president reviews on occasion a sampling of the blessings given but the Stake President gives no direction to them.

    I think that is perplexing to people because Bushman is a true believer yet probably knows more about church history than just about anyone and could probably gain much more personally not being a believer.
    Bushman is one of those active Mormons who wants to reform the LDS Church.

    If this were all as simple as you claim why can't he just say, like Holland (a believer who is not stupid): Look, you either believe Nephi was a person or you don't. There's no in between. And if you can't, you're a sinner. It's that simple.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Well, I found the Wheat and Tares blog link on Dan Peterson's Patheos page. And Bushman is a stake patriarch. So there's that.

    And the response you link from a BYU English teacher seems pretty reasonable. EDIT: Why do you consider that piece "tribal shaming?"

    The BYU prof's blog says he is still writing his 2008 election blog. Does this mean he has outlasted you? (tic)
    Last edited by concerned; 07-27-2015 at 03:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    The BYU prof's blog says he is still writing his 2008 election blog. Does this mean he has outlasted you? (tic)
    It probably does.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Bushman is one of those active Mormons who wants to reform the LDS Church.

    If this were all as simple as you claim why can't he just say, like Holland (a believer who is not stupid): Look, you either believe Nephi was a person or you don't. There's no in between. And if you can't, you're a sinner. It's that simple.
    Perhaps we should ask him whether he believes Nephi is an actual person.

  12. #12
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Bushman is one of those active Mormons who wants to reform the LDS Church.
    I hope you got his permission before disclosing this.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Well, I found the Wheat and Tares blog link on Dan Peterson's Patheos page. And Bushman is a stake patriarch. So there's that.

    And the response you link from a BYU English teacher seems pretty reasonable. EDIT: Why do you consider that piece "tribal shaming?"
    I'm pleased that this BYU English professor shares my observation about the subtext of unbelief in Bushman's comments. (Yes, I made the observation unaware of Bruce Young's rebuttal.) Wouldn't it be awful to have this Young guy teaching you English literature (they teach C.S. Lewis in BYU English lit. courses? lol.)
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Perhaps we should ask him whether he believes Nephi is an actual person.
    Not a bad idea. I'd expect him to dissemble
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Sorry, being a Patriarch isn't something that you can just mail in... and I might say even more than a bishop or stake president. It is a calling that you are either a true believer or you just don't/can't do it. Particularly because on top of the obvious belief in spiritual guidance, it is a calling you essentially do on your own with little to no guidance. A stake president reviews on occasion a sampling of the blessings given but the Stake President gives no direction to them.

    I think that is perplexing to people because Bushman is a true believer yet probably knows more about church history than just about anyone and could probably gain much more personally not being a believer.
    It doesn't take much knowledge about LDS Church history to reject he Book of Mormon as genuine ancient record. And you know as well as I do that Bushman has plenty of incentive to remain loyal to the LDS Church.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    It doesn't take much knowledge about LDS Church history to reject he Book of Mormon as genuine ancient record. And you know as well as I do that Bushman has plenty of incentive to remain loyal to the LDS Church.
    Sure he has incentive, but that incentive is probably soon to run out like it did for Kate Kelly and John Dehlin and the benefit then rolls over to a narrative of an unjust ousting despite wanting to staying in; then, of course, the light of day once you are out. I'm presuming we are talking about monetary and social incentive (I'm presuming recent Reddit AMAs don't pay much, the copies of RSR have been sold, plus he'd be welcome with open arms as a professor at about any institution), versus personal benefit.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Sure he has incentive, but that incentive is probably soon to run out like it did for Kate Kelly and John Dehlin and the benefit then rolls over to a narrative of an unjust ousting despite wanting to staying in; then, of course, the light of day once you are out. I'm presuming we are talking about monetary and social incentive (I'm presuming recent Reddit AMAs don't pay much, the copies of RSR have been sold, plus he'd be welcome with open arms as a professor at about any institution), versus personal benefit.
    It's always about the people, I submit. But yes, you pretty much nailed it. He's been adroit at walking a fine line such that continued affiliation with the LDS Church hasn't cost him anything. On the contrary, I'd argue that, for example, like Romney, it's a big net gain. He's an academic at an Ivy League school, not a business tycoon, so perhaps remaining in good standing in the LDS network (which, at least in Romney's case, includes a wealthy Mormon family with many rich Mormon contacts) is not as evidently important. I'm not a Richard Busman expert, but I note that according to his Wikipedia article he was the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011, and he joined the Columbia faculty in 2007. So apparently he's had Mormon dollars funding his academic activities that led to Columbia and RSR. Presently, he's an emeritus professor at Columbia. Wikipedia only says he was previously "on the faculties" at BYU, Harvard, BU, University of Delaware. Does anyone know if he's been tenured anywhere except this honorary title at Columbia? Less tangibly, as a Mormon scholar he's probably managed to leverage his LDS loyalty such that his very ability to walk the fine line has served him well professionally. After all, Mormon history attracts almost no interest as a vocation outside people with Mormon roots or ties.

    I'm sure he's a first rate academic, and he's accomplished a lot. But remaining LDS is part of his personal brand and has helped not hurt him. This says nothing about his family and other social ties that are intensely personal, deep, and rewarding apart from monetary incentives, and depend on LDS affiliation.
    Last edited by SeattleUte; 07-27-2015 at 06:50 PM.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  18. #18
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    It's always about the people, I submit. But yes, you pretty much nailed it. He's been adroit at walking a fine line such that continued affiliation with the LDS Church hasn't cost him anything. On the contrary, I'd argue that, for example, like Romney, it's a big net gain. He's an academic at an Ivy League school, not a business tycoon, so perhaps remaining in good standing in the LDS network (which, at least in Romney's case, includes a wealthy Mormon family with many rich Mormon contacts) is not as evidently important. I'm not a Richard Busman expert, but I note that according to his Wikipedia article he was the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011, and he joined the Columbia faculty in 2007. So apparently he's had Mormon dollars funding his academic activities that led to Columbia and RSR. Presently, he's an emeritus professor at Columbia. Wikipedia only says he was previously "on the faculties" at BYU, Harvard, BU, University of Delaware. Does anyone know if he's been tenured anywhere except this honorary title at Columbia? Less tangibly, as a Mormon scholar he's probably managed to leverage his LDS loyalty such that his very ability to walk the fine line has served him well professionally. After all, Mormon history attracts almost no interest as a vocation outside people with Mormon roots or ties.

    I'm sure he's a first rate academic, and he's accomplished a lot. But remaining LDS is part of his personal brand and has helped not hurt him. This says nothing about his family and other social ties that are intensely personal, deep, and rewarding apart from monetary incentives, and depend on LDS affiliation.
    His bio:

    Richard Lyman Bushman is Gouverneur Morris Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University in New York City, and currently occupies the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California.Educated at Harvard College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received his A.B. magna cum laude, Professor Bushman went on to earn an A.M. in history and a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Columbia University, he taught at Brigham Young University, Brown University, Boston University, Harvard University (as a visiting professor), and the University of Delaware (where he chaired the Department of History 1977-1983, served as coordinator of the History of American Civilization Program 1984-1989, and held the H. Rodney Sharp Professorship of History).

    Dr. Bushman’s first book, From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), was awarded the Bancroft and Phi Alpha Theta prizes. He has also published Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1984), which was a History Book Club selection in 1985 and won the Evans Biography Award; King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, N. C.: University of North Carolina Press, for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1985); The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), which was a selection of both the History Book Club and the Book of the Month Club; (with Claudia Bushman) Mormons in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), which was republished in a new edition as Building the Kingdom of God (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); Believing History: Latter-day Saint Essays, ed. Reid L. Neilson and Jed Woodworth (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004); Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), which garnered the Best Biography Award from the Association of Mormon Letters, the Evans Biography Award, and the Best Book Award from the Mormon History Association; On the Road with Joseph Smith: An Author’s Diary (New York: Mormon Artists Group Press, 2006); and Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). In addition, he has edited The Great Awakening: Documents on the Revival of Religion, 1740-1745 (New York: Athenaeum, for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1970), and Uprooted Americans: Essays to Honor Oscar Handlin (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Co., 1979). He has also written numerous scholarly articles in both early American history and Mormon studies, and his current research focuses on “Farmers in the Production of the Nation: Family Agriculture in Eighteenth-Century America.”

    Among his many honors, Professor Bushman has been an Interdisciplinary Fellow in History and Psychology at Brown University and an R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library, and has won the Regents Fellowship of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Delaware, the National Humanities Center, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University. He has received the Presidential Teaching Award from Columbia University and the E. Harold Hugo Memorial Book Prize of the Old Sturbridge Village Research Library Society.

    Professor Bushman has served as president of the Mormon History Association, 1985-1986; as a member of the Board of Editors of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1989-1991; as a Council Member for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1982-1984 and 1989-1992; as president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 1997-1998; and chaired the Advisory Committee to the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at Brigham Young University, 1999-2004. He is currently Co-General Editor for the Joseph Smith Papers project of the History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and chairs the Board of Directors of the Mormon Scholars Foundation.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  19. #19
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Here's Bushman's testimony. SU, you won't like much of it, but I am guessing you'll offer some conclusions as to what is really going on in Bushman's mind and heart.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Here's Bushman's testimony. SU, you won't like much of it, but I am guessing you'll offer some conclusions as to what is really going on in Bushman's mind and heart.
    Dr Bushman is a dear friend and was instrumental in convincing me I could be more influential inside the church than outside. Call me a member the "loyal opposition".

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I am guessing you'll offer some conclusions as to what is really going on in Bushman's mind and heart.
    I am the one who's doing this? You started this thread. Your point is that this person who has received the imprimatur of Columbia University professorship believes in Mormonism as you do, and that this lends some credence to Mormon theology. I am just addressing the text of what you posted, and responding to some of the typical LDS logic expressed in this thread such as Bushman's alleged belief lends credence to LDS theology, and he must believe because it's been such a sacrifice for him to remain associated with the LDS Church. The fact is, as BYU professor Young points out, his "testimony" is anything but straightforward, filled with circumlocution, and considerably more wordy than would seem to be necessary to express a simple faith or belief that the provenance of the Book of Mormon is what Joseph Smith is alleged to have said it was.

    I really don't give a hoot what Bushman believes about the LDS Church. I don't think it makes a difference, even though he has written an admired biography of Joseph Smith.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  22. #22
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I am the one who's doing this? You started this thread. Your point is that this person who has received the imprimatur of Columbia University professorship believes in Mormonism as you do, and that this lends some credence to Mormon theology. I am just addressing the text of what you posted, and responding to some of the typical LDS logic expressed in this thread such as Bushman's alleged belief lends credence to LDS theology, and he must believe because it's been such a sacrifice for him to remain associated with the LDS Church. The fact is, as BYU professor Young points out, his "testimony" is anything but straightforward, filled with circumlocution, and considerably more wordy than would seem to be necessary to express a simple faith or belief that the provenance of the Book of Mormon is what Joseph Smith is alleged to have said it was.

    I really don't give a hoot what Bushman believes about the LDS Church. I don't think it makes a difference, even though he has written an admired biography of Joseph Smith.
    To quote my original post in this thread:

    This will fascinate some, annoy some (summon Seattle Ute), and be very helpful to some:

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    It's always about the people, I submit. But yes, you pretty much nailed it. He's been adroit at walking a fine line such that continued affiliation with the LDS Church hasn't cost him anything. On the contrary, I'd argue that, for example, like Romney, it's a big net gain. He's an academic at an Ivy League school, not a business tycoon, so perhaps remaining in good standing in the LDS network (which, at least in Romney's case, includes a wealthy Mormon family with many rich Mormon contacts) is not as evidently important. I'm not a Richard Busman expert, but I note that according to his Wikipedia article he was the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011, and he joined the Columbia faculty in 2007. So apparently he's had Mormon dollars funding his academic activities that led to Columbia and RSR. Presently, he's an emeritus professor at Columbia. Wikipedia only says he was previously "on the faculties" at BYU, Harvard, BU, University of Delaware. Does anyone know if he's been tenured anywhere except this honorary title at Columbia? Less tangibly, as a Mormon scholar he's probably managed to leverage his LDS loyalty such that his very ability to walk the fine line has served him well professionally. After all, Mormon history attracts almost no interest as a vocation outside people with Mormon roots or ties.

    I'm sure he's a first rate academic, and he's accomplished a lot. But remaining LDS is part of his personal brand and has helped not hurt him. This says nothing about his family and other social ties that are intensely personal, deep, and rewarding apart from monetary incentives, and depend on LDS affiliation.
    Dead on about Bushman.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    To quote my original post in this thread:
    I wonder why you didn't put this in the Believer Thread.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Dead on about Bushman.
    Except for the fact his bio and body of work squarely contradicts what Seattle wrote, sure it's dead on.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    Except for the fact his bio and body of work squarely contradicts what Seattle wrote, sure it's dead on.

    It doesn't contradict anything he said.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    It doesn't contradict anything he said.
    OK. So, help me square this all then. He got into Harvard because of his LDS connections? Or taught at Brown, Delaware and Boston University because and due only to his LDS connections and his Mormonism? And his first book is all about Mormonism, hence it was awarded Bancroft and Phi Alpha Theta prizes (what ever they are)?

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.p...=9780674325517

    We're talking about the foundation of his career path, just be clear. What got him to where he is now? A "whole" body of work. Interestingly, neither you or I got into Harvard. Seattle certainly didn't. Of course we didn't want to, though. I imagine. But I guess we also didn't have the same access to LDS ... connections? We were less Mormon? That must be it, right?

    You know, I have no vested faith in Richard Bushman. I enjoyed Rough Rolling Stone. I do find it interesting that in this thread SeattleUte first suggests Bushman is too intellectual / academic to have a testimony (guilt by association to/with Mit Romney, and Seattles well chronicled derision of Romney's assertions of faith). And then effectively states his testimony is too academic to be a testimony? Followed by, well he has a vested interest in maintaining a "testimony" but only because it benefits him professionally. When the evidence in his bio—the "whole" body of work—contradicts SeattleUtes assertions and clearly indicates otherwise.
    Last edited by tooblue; 07-28-2015 at 12:07 PM.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    OK. So, help me square this all then. He got into Harvard because of his LDS connections? Or taught at Brown, Delaware and Boston University because and due only to his LDS connections and his Mormonism? And his first book is all about Mormonism, hence it was awarded Bancroft and Phi Alpha Theta prizes (what ever they are)?

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.p...=9780674325517

    We're talking about the foundation of his career path, just be clear. What got him to where he is now? A "whole" body of work. Interestingly, neither you or I got into Harvard. Seattle certainly didn't. Of course we didn't want to, though. I imagine. But I guess we also didn't have the same access to LDS ... connections? We were less Mormon? That must be it, right?

    You know, I have no vested faith in Richard Bushman. I enjoyed Rough Rolling Stone. I do find it interesting that in this thread SeattleUte first suggests Bushman is too intellectual / academic to have a testimony (guilt by association to/with Mit Romney, and Seattles well chronicled derision of Romney's assertions of faith). And then effectively states his testimony is too academic to be a testimony? Followed by, well he has a vested interest in maintaining a "testimony" but only because it benefits him professionally. When the evidence in his bio—the "whole" body of work—contradicts SeattleUtes assertions and clearly indicates otherwise.
    Except for the fact this is not what Seattle wrote, sure it's dead on.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Except for the fact this is not what Seattle wrote, sure it's dead on.
    You didn't write:

    He's been adroit at walking a fine line such that continued affiliation with the LDS Church hasn't cost him anything. On the contrary, I'd argue that, for example, like Romney, it's a big net gain. He's an academic at an Ivy League school, not a business tycoon, so perhaps remaining in good standing in the LDS network (which, at least in Romney's case, includes a wealthy Mormon family with many rich Mormon contacts) is not as evidently important.

    or
    Less tangibly, as a Mormon scholar he's probably managed to leverage his LDS loyalty such that his very ability to walk the fine line has served him well professionally.

    or
    as Bushman's alleged belief lends credence to LDS theology, and he must believe because it's been such a sacrifice for him to remain associated with the LDS Church. The fact is, as BYU professor Young points out, his "testimony" is anything but straightforward, filled with circumlocution, and considerably more wordy than would seem to be necessary to express a simple faith or belief that the provenance of the Book of Mormon is what Joseph Smith is alleged to have said it was.
    or
    I really don't give a hoot what Bushman believes about the LDS Church. I don't think it makes a difference, even though he has written an admired biography of Joseph Smith.
    Did you have a Viking episode, where someone—nefariously, but with your blessing—took over your account?

  30. #30
    Bushman is in a tough spot. If he comes straight out and says he believes the truth claims around the Book of Mormon without acknowledging the things he does acknowledge, he loses credibility among his non-LDS historian colleagues. If he says he doesn't believe he loses the faithful LDS crowd. I think he tries to tread lightly in both directions. His words: "Practiced historians speak moderately rather than polemically."

    https://www.reddit.com/r/latterdaysa..._eastern_time/

    I think we should be careful to read too much into his words when we know from this quote what he is practicing.

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