Dr. Adam Miller Lecture: Early Onset Postmortality and Book of Mormon Historicity
(lecture previously titled: Zombies, Vampires, and the Book of Mormon)
September 19, 2014
Sponsored by the Howard W. Hunter Foundation
Abstract: Zombies and vampires bend the rules of time. Death arrives for them, but even after its arrival, their lives continue. They die but, rather than passing on to the next world, they continue in this one. In this sense, zombies and vampires model an important aspect of Christian life: the Christian’s preemptive abandonment of their own life (their willingness to be crucified with Christ), in order to begin a second life in the time that remains before passing on to the next. This reshuffling of time’s otherwise orderly chronology – a reshuffling where ends arrive early and lives continue out of step with their own passing – is crucial to the operation of grace and repentance. More, this Christian refusal to abide by the rules of chronology is also key to understanding the Book of Mormon’s own special brand of historicity.
Author bio: Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He and his wife, Gwen Miller, have three children. He received an MA and PhD in philosophy from Villanova University as well as a BA in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University. He is the editor of An Experiment on the Word (Salt Press, 2011) and the author of Badiou, Marion, and St Paul: Immanent Grace (Continuum, 2008), Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Kofford, 2012), Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology (Fordham University Press, 2013), and Letters to a Young Mormon (Maxwell Institute, 2014). He is the co-editor, with Joseph Spencer, of the book series Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture, published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and serves as the current director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He was named “Best Essayist” in 2011 by the Association for Mormon Letters.