As I wrote earlier, I recently appeared on the Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land podcast to discuss a recent publication in which I discuss the history of official Latter-day Saint domain names. Near the end of the interview, David Noyce (managing editor of the Tribune and one of the podcast hosts) asked me the “so what” question—sure, this history is interesting, but what’s the takeaway? Here’s (part of) how I answered:
I recently wrote about a new article of mine in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought where I trace the history of the official domain names of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This past week, I was lucky enough for the fine folks at the Salt Lake Tribune to take interest in the article. Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote a summary of my findings in this (unfortunately paywalled) article, which appeared on Sunday.
I’m very excited to share that I’ve just had an article published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, a historically and culturally important journal in Mormonism. My article is entitled “The correct [domain] name of the Church: Technology, naming, and legitimacy in the Latter-day Saint tradition.” The title is a riff on Russell Nelson’s use of the phrase “The Correct Name of the Church” when leading a renewed emphasis on the full name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints early in his ministry as President of the same church.
Spent some time this afternoon finishing up a conceptual framework section which makes a case for using Weberian language for describing how this movement thinks about authority.
Amy Chapman and I currently have an in-press paper on the far-right inspired DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, and we’ve also been at work on a second paper covering all our analysis we couldn’t fit in the first paper. In particular, we’re interested in how the DezNat movement conceptualizes (and claims) religious authority. I spent time this morning getting back into the flow of this paper and reading up on Weber, whose tripartite model of authority ought to be helpful here.