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Samuel Brown
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Blog Entries by Samuel Brown

Mormonism's Abandoned Race Policy: Context Matters

(512) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 12:01 PM

The insightful and sympathetic observer of Mormonism, John G. Turner (history professor at George Mason University) offered recently in the New York Times the most incisive call yet for Mormon leadership to formally repudiate Mormonism's historic (ca. 1852-1978) refusal to allow people of African...

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Analytical Thinking Promotes Disbelief in Experimental Psychology

(15) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 12:25 PM

In a recent issue of Science magazine, two academic psychologists published a mélange of studies exploring the relationships between "Analytical Thinking" and "Religious Disbelief." These studies, particularly with their publication in a prominent scientific journal, are poster children for the muddled thinking contributing to the culture wars around...

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Mormon Worship: Promises Made in Secret

(172) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 8:33 AM

John Sweeney has just released a BBC-based exposé of Mormonism framed around Mitt Romney's campaign for the US Republican presidential nomination. As part of his rather facile construction of Mormonism as a "cult" (a silly and mostly semantically null word the journalist has borrowed from Evangelical extremists), Sweeney...

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The End in Sight? The Waning of a Racist Mormon Fringe

(111) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 4:17 PM

Jason Horowitz's intriguing presentation in the Washington Post of the history of race and racism within Mormonism evokes a variety of responses, most of them negative. For those of us who know Mormonism intimately, it is tempting to feel deep indignation at the depiction of what we see...

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Mormon Baptism For the Dead: History and Explanation of an Unusual Ritual

(704) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 12:14 PM

Mormons are known for many things, from their love of corporate attire and organization, to their almost uncanny cheeriness, to their scandalous history of polygamy. They are also known as the chief sleuths of genealogy in the modern world. There is a purportedly dark side to their interest in the...

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