Five Responses to Grant Palmer

Anselmus und die Schlange (1913) by Edmund Schaefer. [This post is partly a response to this post at Rational Faiths.] Grant Palmer is an ex-Mormon author who is best known for his 2002 book An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins. It’s a popular book amongst the ex- and anti-Mormon crowd, and you’ll see it frequently quoted by … Read more

On the Grotesque Humor of Goethe’s “Der Totentanz”

Goethe in the Roman Campagna (1787) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein. [This paper was written for the seminar on Goethe that I’m taking this semester.] Introduction and Summary Few of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poems have received such sparse and often perfunctory commentary as his 1813 ballad “Der Totentanz.” Most scholars offering critical notations in collections … Read more

The Use of Irony in Arthur Schnitzler’s “Lieutenant Gustl”

Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) [This paper was written for one of my classes on Fin de siècle Viennese literature.] Introduction Readers of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1901 novella Lieutenant Gustl may, upon first encountering the text, feel somewhat overwhelmed by a seemingly chaotic literary structure filled with run-on and disjointed sentences, frequent breaks, and short focus. Notwithstanding this seemingly … Read more

More Conspiracies! More Plots!

The Church’s devious attempts to suppress the naked truth of Joseph Smith’s fraud and deception continues unabated. For example, next month’s New Era includes an article by David A. Edwards titled “True or False.” “If you’ve ever taken a test with true-or-false questions, you know it’s sometimes hard to spot a falsehood,” begins Edwards. “Likewise, … Read more

Tom Phillips Reacts to the Failure of the October Surprise

You may have seen various “Hitler Reacts” videos on YouTube. They’re made from a clip taken from the 2004 German film Der Untergang (one of my favorite films, incidentally). In this scene, Hitler goes bonkers when he’s informed that Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner was not able to amass enough troops to break the Soviet stronghold on Berlin. … Read more

On the Faustian Bargain and Eternal Progression

Don’t do it! As explained by the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the concept of “eternal progression” is central to the Mormon conception of deification. Here’s the succinct explanation given by the recent Gospel Topics essay. Latter-day Saints see all people as children of God in a full and complete sense; they consider every person divine in origin, nature, … Read more