High Quality Links

A few worthwhile articles have popped up in the last few days, which you faithful readers may enjoy:

First, the Economist spends a week in Utah investigating Mormonism.  It’s a somewhat surprising piece, because the short, punchy writing leads one to expect to see a few below the belt punches or factual flubs.  Neither appear.  The writer is fair-minded and willing to give the benefit of the doubt where deserved.  It’s a short and entertaining read, one that informs on America as much as on Mormonism.

Second, highly respected LDS scholar Terryl Givens has a short blog post musing on the meaning of Romney’s run for the presidency over the background of the paradoxes of Mormon culture.  Also well worth reading.

Finally, a breathtakingly open inquiry into the wide diversity of life within Mormonism, by Mathew N. Schmalz writing in Commonweal (“A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture”).  Schmalz details a multitude of facets of Mormon life, showing again and again how varied Mormons are, and how willing to think critically, dissent, and break with orthodoxy when moved upon.  I strongly disagree with some of the opinions expressed by Mormons in this piece– but that’s just the point, isn’t it?  Kudos to Schmalz, who joins Dr. Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp in the club of outsiders who really seem to ‘get’ Mormons.