Christian Hypocrisy in Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s “Die Judenbuche”

A portrait of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1837). I wrote the following in the Fall of 2014 for a course at Brigham Young University on Deutsche Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts. Introduction The specter of anti-Semitism in German history looms large in today’s post-Holocaust world. The great past works of German literature, ranging from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Nathan der Weise … 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

Goethe and Mormonism

Der Meister – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). I am currently taking a senior seminar on the life and writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. My professor, Hans Wilhelm-Kelling, has an article comparing some of Goethe’s (often enigmatic) religious convictions with Latter-day Saint theology. According to Kelling, some of Goethe’s religious thoughts that intersect with … Read more

Die vier Weltalter; or, Schiller as Proto-Mormon

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805).  The Council of Gods (1518) by Raphael. Next to the immortal Goethe, Friedrich Schiller stands as the great German polymath of Weimar Classicism and the Sturm und Drang (conventionally translated as “storm and stress”) literary movement. Schiller’s works include dramas, poetry, histories, and philosophical essays.  Schiller’s work has endured in popular culture, … Read more