The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards “The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Friday, April 21, 2023

Welcoming dialogue about disagreements

Jacob Hess wrote an important article titled "Perspective: Scholarship that takes the sacred seriously: My 4 take-aways from a BYU conference exploring how it would change academic disciplines to draw upon gospel teachings as foundational"

It is well worth reading.

The excerpt below pertains to the subject of this blog; i.e., welcoming dialogue about disagreements:


3. Welcoming dialogue about disagreements

Students in various academic contexts are increasingly worried about raising religious or other views that might be perceived as controversial. Some fear that standing up for increasingly countercultural religious ideas necessarily means “driving wedges.” Professor Stephen Yanchar noted how even raising honest questions a la critical thinking “has a reputation of being an attack.” 

But he insisted this work of grappling over truth on college campuses, religious or not, can all be “loving, kind and gentle — a part of relationship building.” ...

The fact that profound disagreements have become so scary at universities — the very place dedicated to hashing out different perspectives in a search for truth — highlights the unique opportunity to model a different way, perhaps especially at a place like BYU with a greater political balance than many other college campuses.

“Yes, people will disagree … and we can talk. But at least we’ll be having the discussions,” said Williams, who has spent his career encouraging a deeper conversation about unquestioned assumptions in psychology. “What could be more important than having these conversations with fellow believers in a spirit of respect and love?” 


“Those who fear” this kind of searching dialogue, Yanchar suggested, “have overstated its dangers.”

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