A Poetics of the Restoration

George B. Handley, professor of humanities at Brigham Young University, discusses whether the world’s cultural traditions should be considered as treasures that should be embraced by Latter-day Saints, or fallen philosophy and vain deceit. He argues that while culture might be the obstacle that blinds us, it must also become the means or language by which we can come to understand God’s will. We can have a lifelong passion for learning both from the word of God—from revelation—and the word of men and women—from the world’s cultures. The humanities—literature, philosophy, history, and the arts—help us to see how our own particulars of cultural context have shaped our views, including our views of God. When the faithful disciple engages deeply with the particulars of a culture and emerges with a changed, reoriented, and enlarged vision of human experience, the humanities prove integral to the ongoing restoration of all things. In that the humanities ask us to engage in imagining the world, as the word poetics implies, consecrated learning becomes a poetics of the Restoration.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 49:4
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