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Q&A with Trevan G. Hatch, co-editor of "The Learning of the Jews": What Latter-day Saints Can Learn from Jewish Religious Experience

Q: Can you provide a little background about the editors and your decision to do this project together?

A: I participated with Leonard Greenspoon in several Jewish Studies seminars in Chicago from 2012 to 2018. In 2016 I approached him about getting Jewish scholars and LDS scholars together for this writing project. As a prolific scholar in Bible and Jewish Studies for forty years, Leonard has participated in these types of interfaith interactions many times, but never with Latter-day Saints. Leonard and I then contacted several scholars to participate. Many of the Jewish scholars were excited to write essays due to the unique nature of the project.

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Coming August 10, 2021

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Axes Mundi: Ritual Complexes in Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon

By Mark Alan Wright @ Interpreter Foundation

An axis mundi refers to a sacred place that connects heaven and earth and is believed to be the center of the world. These places are sanctified through ritual consecration or through a divine manifestation that results in qualitatively detaching that space from the surrounding cosmos. Often expressed in architecture as a universal pillar, these axes mundi incorporate and put in communication three cosmic levels — earth, heaven, and the underworld. As Mark Alan Wright notes, Mesoamerican sacred architecture was designed according to cosmological principles and finds a modern analogy in Latter-day Saint temples. Also, among Mesoamerican civilizations and in the Book of Mormon, the temple, the axis mundi, served as a place where worshipers go to engage in sacred rituals that bridge the divide between heaven and earth and allow the worshiper entry into the divine presence.

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The Practice and Meaning of Declaring Lineage in Patriarchal Blessings

By M. Steve Andersen @ Interpreter Foudation

In this paper, I show that declarations of lineage in patriarchal blessings have, since the earliest days of the Restoration, evolved in terms of frequency of inclusion, which tribal lineages predominate, and understanding of the meaning of the declaration. I argue for a non- literal understanding consistent with scripture and science, but posit that these declarations have deep and important significance in connection with the gathering of Israel.

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Available through Greg Kofford Books and Amazon

Body/Bodies of Christ Dialogue Writing Contest

By Dialogue Journal

Dialogue seeks submissions of poetry (up to 100 lines), short fiction (3500–6000 words), and personal voice (nonfiction, narrative essays, 250–3000 words) centered around our theme: Body/Bodies of Christ. Submissions for this theme can encompass any subject that wrestles with the confluence of body  and spirit, the temporal and the spiritual, the imperfect body and perfection embodied (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19–2012:12–13Romans 12:1–5; 2 Cor. 12:7–10).

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Sep 20–24 Utah State Historical Society Annual Conference [Digital]
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Mar 11–12 Church History Symposoum, Provo and SLC, UT
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