Latter-day Contemplation

Latter-day Contemplation exists to largely explore and document our journey of study and faith as w ... more

Latest Episodes

May 13, 2022 01:00:47
Episode 68: Contemplating Art with Greg Olsen

Episode 68: Contemplating Art with Greg Olsen

In this episode Christopher and Riley welcome artist Greg Olsen. Greg is particularly well-known in LDS circles as a painter of Jesus. Our hosts had the opportunity to mine his experiences becoming a professional painter of religious iconography and images that convey the relatable nature of the Savior. Of course, he is much more than his public works and this conversation takes them through his contemplative practices, the nature of symbols, and simplifying our faith by practicing loving-kindness. ...

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May 05, 2022 01:07:25
Episode 67: The Bhagavad Gita (Part 2)

Episode 67: The Bhagavad Gita (Part 2)

In this episode Christopher and Riley welcome Phil McLemore and Ben Heaton, Bhagavad Gita enthusiasts and students of Vedic wisdom, to finish our discussion of the seminal Hindu scripture.  Our hosts dive into the usefulness of the book, approaches to understanding it, and a few favorite passages. ...

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April 20, 2022 01:07:18
Episode 66: On Exodus

Episode 66: On Exodus

The Book of Exodus can be divided into three parts: First, we witness the power of the Lord as he extends his arm against Pharaoh, sending the ten plagues and finally parting the Sea of Reeds, which swallows up Pharoah and his army, letting Moses and the Israelites escape into the wilderness. In the second part, Moses will ascend Mount Sinai and receive the law (Torah). The final section of the book is devoted to the construction and description of the tabernacle, or the portable temple the Israelites will carry with them over the next 38 years they spend in the desert. A three-part division is also seen in the Sinai episode where the people are gathered at the bottom, the elders are partway up, and Moses is on top speaking with God. We see a similar tripartite division in the third section’s description of the tabernacle with its courtyard, Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies.  Later mystics and teachers would use these three-fold divisions to describe the soul’s journey to God, labeling the stages with terms such as ‘purification,’ contemplation,’ and ‘union’. ...

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March 31, 2022 00:59:04
Episode 65: The Bhagavad Gita (Part 1)

Episode 65: The Bhagavad Gita (Part 1)

In this episode, Christopher and Riley discuss one of their favorite religious texts, an excerpt from the Mahabharata, called the Bhagavad Gita. This seminal Hindu work introduces the various forms of Yoga as an allegorical discourse between the warrior prince, Arjuna, and the reincarnated God, Krishna. Contrary to the Western understanding of Yoga, this has less to do with stretching muscles and more to do with stretching the soul. Christopher and Riley share some favorite commonplaces from their reading and offer their interpretations as a starting point for those wanting to explore the beauty and great value of “the Gita.” ...

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March 25, 2022 01:13:21
Episode 64: Contemplating Satan

Episode 64: Contemplating Satan

Christopher is joined by guest co-host Shiloh Logan to talk about the history of “Satan” from the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible through today. This is not a theological discussion but a historical discussion of how the idea of Satan has evolved. Shiloh and Christopher use scholar Ryan Stokes to show how the idea of “the Satan” was understood before the Jewish captivity in Babylon, how that changed and was possibly influenced by Zoroastrianism, and how the Dead Sea Scrolls solidified the idea of “Satan” that made it into the New Testament. Christopher and Shiloh also use scholar Elaine Pagels, to expand on how our idea of “Satan” affects and influences our view of the other and justifies us in our view. They conclude with a discussion of “Satan” through a Jungian lens, and conclude that the first step in improving our views of the other and our society lies in integrating our own “shadow.” ...

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March 18, 2022 01:12:32
Episode 63: Beyond the Great Apostasy

Episode 63: Beyond the Great Apostasy

In a church with global proselytizing reach, which must outgrow its geographic origins theologically and practically, the Great Apostasy, as historically understood in LDS theology, has become problematic.  For this episode we welcome back our friend, Sufi al-hajj Daud, a.k.a. Dr. David Peck (www.ofsaintsandsufis.org) to discuss his contribution to the book, Standing Apart, a scholarly collaboration on the historiography of the Great Apostasy. He describes how to deconstruct and reframe the Great Apostasy through the lens of the universal ur-covenant or First Estate. Recognition of this common entry point on the covenant path helps us commune with brothers and sisters of divergent but related faith traditions. We highlight other overlapping ideas between faiths such as the light of Christ in a wide-ranging episode that we hope will open up to you a path of greater and increasing appreciation of other faiths. ...

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