by Kerry Muhlestein
Cross-posted from The Interpreter Foundation
[Kerry Muhlestein also gave a presentation at the recent FairMormon Conference on “Egyptian Papers and the Translation of the Book of Abraham: What Careful Applications of the Evidence Can and Cannot Tell Us.” You can purchase access to watch the full conference here.]
We live in an era of online communications. If you want to reach large numbers of people in quick fashion, then online videos, blogs, memes, and podcasts have become the tool of the moment. These tools are effective at conveying information in an attractive and user-friendly format and in a way that can reach across the globe in mere minutes. Moreover, they are quite convenient for the consumer, which further helps spread the message. They certainly have their place, and do some things very well.
If these online communications have a downside, it is insuring the accuracy of the information they convey. Many are accurate, many are not, and it is difficult to tell which is which. Like news sound bites, such media often seem to lend themselves to simplistic and over-reduced explanations that frequently misrepresent complex matters. Further, somehow they often easily fall into a low level of discourse. This is not true of all them, it really depends on the hosts and forums. Yet too often this is exactly what happens. Some who engage in these electronic venues work very hard to try to provide accurate information at an honorable level of rhetoric, but the forum does not require it and thus many are extremely poor at ensuring a high academic quality of information and sometimes make little to no effort at maintaining the kind of respectful and noble level of discourse that is supposed to be the hallmark of the academic world. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in some podcasts that have recently been released in various venues about the Book of Abraham. [Read more…] about Raising the Abrahamic Discourse: An Essay on the Nature of Dialogues About the Book of Abraham