No, not here. Over here. Good stuff, go read it. (T&S had a similar interview in 2004, part one, part two.)
“For Mormons, living in a certain way is more important than believing in a certain way. We can infer much more about what or who a person is from what he does than from what he believes (or claims to believe) ”
“Speaking differently to different audiences does not necessarily imply contradiction. We do it all the time. When we talk among our friends about what goes on in our families, we are not likely to provide the same details or explanations as if we were talking within the intimacy of the family circle.”
“It seems that for mainline Catholics and Protestants, all extra-biblical ideas are forgivable as long as they embrace a Trinitarian deity, but Mormons can’t be permitted their extra-biblical ideas and still be part of the Christian ‘family.'”
“Sociologists who have studied NRMs and their critics have long since realized that apostates are among the least reliable sources of information and understanding about a religion, since they always write in an exposé mode to vindicate their own change of feelings.”
7 Replies to “Armaund Mauss Interview”
With all the futile venom-spewing and fire-breathing coming out of the FARMS circles in their thinly-veiled chicken fight with anti-Mormon hackery, and all the financial, intellectual, and institutional resources committed to that rather murky enterprise, it’s refreshing (if somewhat sobering) to see how much good can come from someone like Mauss or Bushman just having a reasoned conversation with people asking reasonable questions. An interview like this is worth 100 articles exposing the secret motives of under-cover anti-Mormon authors.
(“A new book claims not to be anti-Mormon, and yes it is technically factually correct, but is it anti-Mormon propaganda anyway? Tune in at 10:00 and find out what our intrepid scholar-polemicists uncovered about what the author may have once said about the LDS Church”)
“With all the futile venom-spewing and fire-breathing coming out of the FARMS circles in their thinly-veiled chicken fight with anti-Mormon hackery, and all the financial, intellectual, and institutional resources committed to that rather murky enterprise”
That’s some nice caricature hyperbole Brad… Glad you like the interview. That blog puts up some good stuff.
No hyperbole there Brad, is there? Sometimes I wonder about all the venom spewing against FARMS given that 95% of their stuff is pretty straightforward and innocuous.
I’ve written my reactions here: Armand Mauss on Church and Society and Other Musings.
There was definitely some hyperbole there. Consider it a failed attempt at irony.
I’m immensely bothered by the specific phenomenon I singled out (expose-style attempts to uncover the inscrutably dark motives of authors not explicitly engaged in Mormon apologetics) — which, admittedly, constitutes a fairly small percentage of what FARMS puts out, most of which is, as you say, fairly straightforward and innocuous.
Mostly, though, the hyperbole was just a rhetorical device designed to reinforce how pleased I was with the Mauss interview.