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At the Mormon Times, “A Mormon theology manifesto,” summarizing remarks by an LDS philosopher at a recent conference suggesting that theology “must follow the path that addresses and heals suffering.”
Here’s how the article summarized the presentation.
Miller distinguished theology from work that is historical, doctrinal or devotional. “Where historical work is concerned with reconstructing past events, doctrinal work with the determination of what is institutionally normative, and devotional work with the expression of personal piety, theology is concerned with charity.”
If theology doesn’t address human suffering, if it doesn’t address the central human experience of mortality, then, Miller said, it “is nothing.”
That’s an interesting viewpoint — and the historical, doctrinal, devotional, and theological ways of looking at scripture is a helpful way to look at one does when reading — but it certainly cuts out large chunks of traditional theology. Institutionally, Mormonism has not taken much interest in developing the theological possibilities that its worldview and LDS scriptures offer, but that is starting to change. Two signs of this are more interfaith collaboration between LDS scholars and their counterparts in other faiths, and the recent emergence of several academic Mormon Studies programs. Blake’s books are another positive development — if his publisher would send me review copies, I’d link to them and talk about them once in a while.