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An Evaluative Framework For The Improvement Of Religious Practice In The Context Of Pluralism, Benjamin Ford Dardas Dec 2019

An Evaluative Framework For The Improvement Of Religious Practice In The Context Of Pluralism, Benjamin Ford Dardas

Theses and Dissertations

Pluralism presents a troubling epistemic problem in that the inability to determine whether or not significant portions of a given religion’s cosmological and metaphysical belief set actually correspond to reality. Within this standstill there seems to be no way to prove yet alone maximize the epistemic rationality of continued religious practice, as each religion will claim to have a unique source of knowledge the others do not. However, if we set aside these unverifiable disputes, there remains an often underemphasized common thread: religions each have a conception of how this world ought to be. These conceptions involve how members ...


"General Conference Talk": Style Variation And The Styling Of Identity In Latter-Day Saint General Conference Oratory, Stephen Thomas Betts Jul 2019

"General Conference Talk": Style Variation And The Styling Of Identity In Latter-Day Saint General Conference Oratory, Stephen Thomas Betts

Theses and Dissertations

Despite its exceptional importance as a cultural performance event in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, General Conference has received little attention in Mormon studies, to say nothing of sociolinguistics. Situated within the larger question of how the public language of Mormon authorities has changed over time, this thesis seeks to discover style features of what impressionistically appears to be a unitary General Conference style since 1960 (the era of church "Correlation"). Statistical analysis is then used to determine which of five sociolinguistic factors and three pairwise interactions between four of the five sociolinguistic factors most saliently conditions ...


Will-Independent Mereological Trinity Monotheism: A Defense Of The Logical Coherence Of, A Priori Motivation For, And A Particular Model Concerning The Doctrine Of The Trinity, Andrew Kirschner May 2019

Will-Independent Mereological Trinity Monotheism: A Defense Of The Logical Coherence Of, A Priori Motivation For, And A Particular Model Concerning The Doctrine Of The Trinity, Andrew Kirschner

Theses and Dissertations

The doctrine posits that God is one being, but three persons. The orthodox parameters for affirming the Trinity are found in the early Ecumenical Creeds of Christendom, especially the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. Four primary affirmations emerge as a summary of the essential content of the doctrine: (ONE): There is one God; (THREE): The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct divine persons; (FATHERSOURCE): The Father is the source of the Son and the Holy Spirit (perhaps with the Son, perhaps not); and (EQUALITY): The three persons in the Trinity are ontologically equal; none is greater than any of the ...


Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby May 2019

Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby

Theses and Dissertations

J.L. Schellenberg has recently formulated a new logical problem of evil that is claimed to avoid Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence. I begin my argument against this new formulation by analyzing the grounding for some of God’s maximal perfections. God’s maximal moral perfection, for example, is grounded in virtuous potentialities that are disposed to the actualization of virtuous actions. From this account, I argue that Schellenberg’s logical problem of evil fails due to one of the following two reasons. First, some good actualizations of good potentialities require evil but compose the best worlds. Second, both ...


"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon May 2019

"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon

Theses and Dissertations

In “‘We Are Strangers in this Life’: Theology, Liminality, and the Exiled in Anglo-Saxon Literature,” I analyze the theme of exile in the theological literature of the Anglo-Saxon era as a way of conveying the spiritual condition of eschatological separation. The anthropological theory of liminality will be applied in this dissertation as a way of contextualizing the existence of the exiled, and the multiple ways in which exile is enacted. The intervention of the theory of liminality in this dissertation offers a methodology and vocabulary for assessing what exile means in terms of a spiritual identity, how it operates in ...


The Prodigal Daughter: An Edition Of An Anonymous Text, Paige Deans Jan 2019

The Prodigal Daughter: An Edition Of An Anonymous Text, Paige Deans

Theses and Dissertations

The Prodigal Daughter (1736) is a poem that, on the surface, appears to be an approachable text that was likely geared towards a children’s audience during New England’s first Great Awakening, within the approachable format of a chapbook. However, when explored further, The Prodigal Daughter reveals a complicated textual history during a time of theological and social revival in New England. This thesis considers the historical context of The Prodigal Daughter’s narrative, as well as the poem’s publication history. The text’s transmission is carefully examined and encapsulated in this edition—giving the reader a transcription ...


English Puritans: Their History, Theology, Practice, And Joy English Puritan Devotional, Jacquelyn Hutchinson Jan 2019

English Puritans: Their History, Theology, Practice, And Joy English Puritan Devotional, Jacquelyn Hutchinson

Theses and Dissertations

This research focuses on the English Puritans’ history, theology, religious practice, and joy. The historical context of the group is crucial to understanding their literature and culture. They lived in a time where they were persecuted for their strict beliefs, fighting for their idea of the purity of God’s word. Their theology came out of the Reformation and continued to evolve as scholars and theologians expounded on texts of the Bible. The theology that they held dear bled into the practice of their religion that undoubtedly had joy. My textual analysis of The Valley of Vision shows the Puritans ...


After Faith, Hope, And Love: The Unique Divergence Of Asceticism By Gregory The Great And Maximus The Confessor, Caleb N. Zuiderveen Oct 2018

After Faith, Hope, And Love: The Unique Divergence Of Asceticism By Gregory The Great And Maximus The Confessor, Caleb N. Zuiderveen

Theses and Dissertations

In the late sixth and early seventh centuries, asceticism continued as a frequent expression of Christian devotion. Despite communications between the Eastern and Western Churches and a common patristic foundation, theology in the East and West during this time diverged on the results of asceticism. This paper explores this divergence by examining two theologians, Gregory the Great and Maximus the Confessor. Current scholarship has examined Gregory the Great and Maximus the Confessor on their own, yet the dialogue between each tradition and its implications remains understudied. Thus, this study contextualizes Gregory the Great’s On the Song of Songs and ...


Metacognitive Strategies And Scripture Study In Released-Time Seminary, Trevor Scott Pearce Aug 2018

Metacognitive Strategies And Scripture Study In Released-Time Seminary, Trevor Scott Pearce

Theses and Dissertations

This study asked two questions. First, to what extent can metacognitive strategies instruction increase metacognitive awareness in released-time seminary students? Second, if metacognitive awareness is increased, is this increase correlated with changes in released-time seminary students' attitudes towards scripture study, their scripture study behavior, how they perceive the quality of their study, and how much they enjoy studying the scriptures? A control group and two experimental groups were used for this study. Experimental group 1 was taught basic scripture reading strategies without metacognition. Experimental group 2 was taught metacognitive strategies related to scripture study. Students in each experimental group used ...


"I Will Pour Out My Spirit Upon All Flesh": A Study On Joseph Smith's Reception Of Joel 2:28–32, Jared Heaton Davis Jul 2018

"I Will Pour Out My Spirit Upon All Flesh": A Study On Joseph Smith's Reception Of Joel 2:28–32, Jared Heaton Davis

Theses and Dissertations

In 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints announced in an opening statement at General Conference, "The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared," he then quoted the KJV of Joel 2:28–32. Throughout the remaining six and a half years of his life, he provided no commentary on the fulfillment of this passage. Fulfillment of the passage is also referenced in the standard works for The LDS Church in Joseph Smith—History (JS—H 1:41) and in the New Testament (Acts 2:17–21). An array ...


A Liberal Analysis Of Religious Exemptions To Public Accommodation Laws, Michael David Doering May 2018

A Liberal Analysis Of Religious Exemptions To Public Accommodation Laws, Michael David Doering

Theses and Dissertations

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court effectively made same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy opined that not extending marriage equality to same-sex couples violated both their autonomy and their right to equal dignity under the law. Three years earlier, a same-sex couple visited Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in Colorado, and requested that the owner design and create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. The owner declined, advising the couple that he did not provide wedding cakes for same-sex weddings due to his religious beliefs. He was found guilty of violating the Colorado ...


A Return To Dark Shamans: Kanaima & The Cosmology Of Threat, Tarryl Janik May 2018

A Return To Dark Shamans: Kanaima & The Cosmology Of Threat, Tarryl Janik

Theses and Dissertations

Kanaima in Amazonia has been theorized within anthropology as “assault sorcery,” “dark shamanism,” and “anti-structure.” Among the Patamuna Indians of Guyana kanaima have been theorized as “cultural expression” of “hyper-traditionality” in response to an encroaching state, its industry and development, evangelism, and modernity (Whitehead; 2002). Kanaima is a mode of terror and violence, of healing, enhancing power, and performing masculinity—a symbol that operates in Patamuna mythology, cosmology, and place-making. Kanaima is intimately entangled with jaguar identity and the wildness of the Pakaraimas, functioning as the ultimate symbol of terror and control over the Patamuna and outsiders. The threat of ...


Historicizing Muslim American Literature: Studies On Literature By African American And South Asian American Muslim Writers, Wawan Eko Yulianto May 2018

Historicizing Muslim American Literature: Studies On Literature By African American And South Asian American Muslim Writers, Wawan Eko Yulianto

Theses and Dissertations

In response to the challenge of understanding Muslim Americans in a way that highlights their integral role in the United States through literature, this research starts with two questions: 1) how should we read Muslim American literature in relation to the lived experiences of Islam in America? and 2) how does Muslim American literature contribute to the more mainstream American literature.

To answer those questions, this research takes as its foundations the theories by Stuart Hall and Satya Mohanty on, firstly, the evolving nature of diaspora identity and on the epistemic status of identity. Following Hall’s argument that every ...


Black Islamic Evangelization In The American South, Chester Warren Cornell May 2018

Black Islamic Evangelization In The American South, Chester Warren Cornell

Theses and Dissertations

Broadly speaking, my research focus is on African American religion, with particular interest in the various manifestations of black Islam in the United States. I am particularly interested in the question “Has religion served as an opiate or stimulant for black political protest?” And my research attempts to answer it by chronicling the experiences of black Muslims in southern prisons. My dissertation builds on Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010). Alexander argues that African Americans were not over-represented in America’s prisons in the 1970s, but with President Reagan ...


Improving Access To Ministerial Training Through The Use Of Electronic Devices: A Qualitative Study Of Educators In Developing Nations, Andrew John Beaty Feb 2018

Improving Access To Ministerial Training Through The Use Of Electronic Devices: A Qualitative Study Of Educators In Developing Nations, Andrew John Beaty

Theses and Dissertations

This study was based on the concern that in developing nations, the vast majority of pastors in local churches have no training to prepare them for the duties they are expected to carry out as ministers. With the increase of technology being available around the world, the questions have arisen as to whether or not technology can be utilized to help improve access to this training.

A qualitative approach was employed to interview thirteen people involved in global theological education in developing nations and to learn from them as to the trends that they see being utilized in regards to ...


Faith Too Big To Fail? The Struggles And Wishes Of New Atheism, Joe Rice Feb 2018

Faith Too Big To Fail? The Struggles And Wishes Of New Atheism, Joe Rice

Theses and Dissertations

After September 11th, 2001, public criticism of religion took front and center stage in the United States like never before, epitomized by the works of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens – the so-called “New Atheists”. In this thesis, I reunderstand the New Atheism as an oppositional social movement that promises important contributions to the recent trend in academic scholarship geared toward the study of religion and secularism. Reunderstanding is essential because the mainstream scholarly treatment of the New Atheism has not fully, much less charitably, drawn out the purpose and upshot of New Atheist ...


Early Restoration Councils, 1830–1838: A Tool To Refine Individuals, Nicholas Andrew Davis Dec 2017

Early Restoration Councils, 1830–1838: A Tool To Refine Individuals, Nicholas Andrew Davis

Theses and Dissertations

When Joseph Smith founded the Church of Christ in April 1830, he also established the framework for councils, the decision-making mechanism of the early Church. Early councils included a group of men holding the priesthood and often included a congregation. They would gather and make authoritative decisions, including if someone accused of wrongdoing was guilty and should receive formal disciplinary action. As the Church grew, Smith further developed this council system. Elders and high priests frequently formed councils, which gradually gave way to bishop's councils. In 1834, high councils began to establish an appellate court where disgruntled Church members ...


En El Nombre De Dios: Baroque Piety, Local Religion, And The Last Will And Testament In Late Colonial Monterrey, John R. Kennedy May 2017

En El Nombre De Dios: Baroque Piety, Local Religion, And The Last Will And Testament In Late Colonial Monterrey, John R. Kennedy

Theses and Dissertations

My dissertation is about forms of locally-based piety, especially religious devotion within the population of eighteenth-century Spanish descendants in Monterrey, Mexico. This study takes the reader through the structure of the colonial last will and testament, identifying its principle parts, analyzing its formulaic language, and discerning ways to hear the voice of its testator. Reineros, or colonial residents of Monterrey, entrusted scribes to write their wills in order to care for their souls in the afterlife and bequeath their possessions to family members, friends, and the church. Testators demonstrate their piety by issuing directives concerning their burials and funerals and ...


The Battle For The Sabbath In The Dutch Reformation: Devotion Or Desecration?, Kyle James Dieleman May 2017

The Battle For The Sabbath In The Dutch Reformation: Devotion Or Desecration?, Kyle James Dieleman

Theses and Dissertations

My dissertation research project focuses on the doctrinal and practical importance of Sunday observance, also known as Sabbath observance, in the sixteenth-and-seventeenth-century Reformed communities in the Low Countries. My project investigates the theological import of the Sabbath and its practical applications. In tracing the development of the Sabbath in the Dutch Reformation, the first step is to focus on how Dutch Reformed theologians conceived of the Sabbath. When studying theologians important for the Dutch Reformed tradition the importance of the Sabbath cannot be ignored, but it is also evident that the theological issues regarding the Sabbath were complex and hotly ...


How Youtube Made The Hijab Cool: Race, Gender, And Authority In The American Ummah, Kayla RenéE Wheeler May 2017

How Youtube Made The Hijab Cool: Race, Gender, And Authority In The American Ummah, Kayla RenéE Wheeler

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation provides a critical discursive analysis of videos, blogs, and social media posts created by two African-American Muslim women who live in the Southern United States, Najwa Niang and Nadira Abdul-Quddus, who make up the, group, Muslimah2Muslimah. As African-American women who do not speak Arabic, Najwa and Nadira fall outside of normative institutions of Islamic learning. Thus, they have taken to YouTube to create their own interpretive communities based on their interpretations of English translated versions of the Qur’an and hadith. Through fashion and beauty tutorials on YouTube, Najwa and Nadira they perform a new Muslim cool, centering ...


Innovative Ethnography In The Study Of Spirit Possession In South Asia, Jack Price Goblirsch May 2017

Innovative Ethnography In The Study Of Spirit Possession In South Asia, Jack Price Goblirsch

Theses and Dissertations

The study of possession phenomena in South Asia presents a unique set of challenges for scholars. Because of its occurrence within diverse contexts, from healing temples and ritual performances to festival celebrations and devotional practices, attempts on the part of scholars to hone in on a concise vocabulary and conceptual framework with which to articulate the critical nature and function of possession has resulted in an extensive body of literature with wide-ranging methodological and theoretical dispositions. Each of these approaches, in its own way, contributes to an increasingly complicated web of intersecting disciplinary approaches.

As this body of literature continues ...


Believing Mary Karr, Stephanie Rae Guedet Apr 2017

Believing Mary Karr, Stephanie Rae Guedet

Theses and Dissertations

Believing Mary Karr examines how belief, represented in the memoirs of Mary Karr, works in our contemporary moment. This examination is supported by the argument that our identities and the stories we tell about them are always constructions of belief, and that these beliefs are ultimately relational, enacted in the intersubjective relationship between writers and readers of autobiography. This dissertation provides the fields of both rhetoric and life writing studies not only an awareness of how ideas about belief—how beliefs about belief—have already shaped our scholarly imagination but also the possibilities a rhetoric of belief can offer to ...


A History Of Seminary Curriculum In The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints: 1912–2016, Griffin Sorenson Apr 2017

A History Of Seminary Curriculum In The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints: 1912–2016, Griffin Sorenson

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this work is to examine the history of curriculum in the seminary program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1912–2016. This work will define curriculum eras, explore the historical setting of each period, and outline the key figures and their educational philosophy. It will also detail the major seminary manuals produced in each period, as well as the overarching curricular philosophy behind each era.


Smartphone Usage And Religiosity In Lds Young Adults, Matthew R. Fereday Apr 2017

Smartphone Usage And Religiosity In Lds Young Adults, Matthew R. Fereday

Theses and Dissertations

This study sought to identify any smartphone usage with significant positive or negative relationships with the religiosity of LDS young adults, with the hypothesis that smartphone usage would indeed have significant relationships with religiosity, both positively and negatively. Over 1,000 BYU students were surveyed for their usage of 36 popular and religious apps and of 33 different categories of content consumption, their content sharing, and compulsive use. That data was compared with their private religiosity (prayer, scripture study, and thinking seriously about religion) and religious experience (strength of beliefs, feeling the Spirit, finding strength through their faith, etc.) BYU ...


Deification Through Sacramental Living In Lds And Eastern Orthodox Worship Practices: A Comparative Analysis, Jess P. Jones Mar 2017

Deification Through Sacramental Living In Lds And Eastern Orthodox Worship Practices: A Comparative Analysis, Jess P. Jones

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis is a comparative analysis of the doctrine of deification in sacramental worship as taught (and practiced) by the Eastern Orthodox and Latter-day Saint (Mormon) churches. The doctrine that man may become like God—known as deification, divinization, or theosis—is a central teaching in the Orthodox and Mormon traditions. Both faiths believe that man may become like God. However, because of doctrinal presuppositions and disagreements regarding the natures of God and man, Orthodox and Mormon teachings of deification do not mean the same thing. This thesis will outline several key distinctions between their respective doctrines. And yet, despite ...


The 1848 Mormon Westward Migration, Jeff Davis Smedley Mar 2017

The 1848 Mormon Westward Migration, Jeff Davis Smedley

Theses and Dissertations

From the Pioneer Company of 1847 to the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, approximately 60,000 Mormon pioneers made the journey from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley. Although some years have received more attention, every footprint placed on the prairie is part of the epic pioneer story. This thesis examines the major challenges and characteristics of the 1848 Mormon pioneers crossing of the plains. The sacrifices and contributions of the 1848 pioneers are as significant to the legacy of the Mormon westward migration as any other year. In order to explore, develop, and explain the thesis ...


(Re)Mediating The Spirit: Evangelical Christian Young Adult Media, Tamara Watkins Jan 2017

(Re)Mediating The Spirit: Evangelical Christian Young Adult Media, Tamara Watkins

Theses and Dissertations

"We are in the world, but not of the world," a maxim frequently spoken in evangelical Christian culture, provides insight into how these individuals view their relationship with secular culture. They presume to share the same temporal plane with secular culture, but do not participate in it. In this dissertation, I explore whether the division between evangelical Christian culture and secular culture is as clear as this aphorism implies. To facilitate this investigation, I examine media Christian content creators created for an American evangelical Christian young adult audience in the early twenty-first century, specifically focusing on novel-length fiction, comics and ...


Restoration, Shannon M. Slaight-Brown Jan 2017

Restoration, Shannon M. Slaight-Brown

Theses and Dissertations

The marks I make in clay have different characteristics, and the physical mark of one’s fingertips or visual record of the hand is personal and intimate. This visible activity is the evidence of my constant presence and control within each object. Its repetitive meditation produces a private relief from my persistent anxieties. This exploration for me is not only visual, but also physical. This is the start of my infatuation with the idea of pattern. It has its own discrete visual language and modes of communication; and through my research I am developing a method of intercommunication.


Synergy: Game Design + Qur'an Memorization, Sultana Jesmine Moulana Jan 2017

Synergy: Game Design + Qur'an Memorization, Sultana Jesmine Moulana

Theses and Dissertations

The rise of digital technology has transformed nearly every part of our daily lives, including the way we learn and memorize. Such transformations raise interesting questions for one of the most long-standing and demanding memorization tasks in the world: the memorization of the Islamic holy book, The Qur’an. For Muslims, The Qur’an is a timeless, sacred text, cradling within its covers many profound images, stories, and parables. Despite rigorous research in the fields of game design and memorization techniques, very little work has been done in combining these two areas of research to create a game-based memorization experience ...


"The Best Soil Of Their Hearts": Protestant Explorations Of Catholic Spirituality In Cooper, Longfellow, And Hawthorne, Amy Oatis Dec 2016

"The Best Soil Of Their Hearts": Protestant Explorations Of Catholic Spirituality In Cooper, Longfellow, And Hawthorne, Amy Oatis

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examines the works of James Fenimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, focusing upon their explorations of Roman Catholic spirituality, as reflected in their poetry, prose, and personal writings. Despite the anti-Romanism prevalent in nineteenth-century American political and religious culture, these authors engaged deeply with Catholic sacramentality, discovering an appeal in the Catholic faith tradition that provided possible answers to questions about spirituality in an increasingly pluralistic democratic society. The first chapter explores the aesthetic appeal of Roman Catholic sacramentals that attracted the attention of Cooper, Longfellow, and Hawthorne. The second chapter connects Catholic sacramentality to the ...