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Interpreting Interpreter
On Abstracting Thought

I know, I know. Here I am, having just barely finished an entire essay series for The Interpreter Foundation blog, writing yet more stuff. Apparently they weren’t sick of me yet, and If you’re not sick of me either, don’t worry—it’s only a matter of time.

What the “Interpreting Interpreter” series represents is summaries of some—not all—of the weekly articles in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. The folks at The Interpreter Foundation understand that many of the articles published here can be quite lengthy (sometimes over 100 pages), exceptionally technical, or both. Those factors can sometimes act as barriers to those articles being fully understood—or to being read in the first place. With these summaries, the hope isn’t to replace or divert people from reading the articles, but that giving people an accessible taste of their arguments will spark interest and a bit of extra confidence when it comes to tackling the full articles themselves.

Back when I was firmly attached to the torture wheel of academic publication, my favorite things to write were abstracts. And now that I’m ensconced in government, I’ve grown fond of their dark cousins, the briefing note and the executive summary. There’s something satisfying about taking a complex set of ideas and distilling them down to their intellectual essence—like carving away the dust and rock from a fossil to find the bones underneath. I can’t pretend to deep expertise in disciplines relevant to Restoration scripture, and there’s no replacing the rigor and patience of primary research, but I aim to put a bit of minor polish on the bones displayed within the pages of Interpreter.

With that, I hope these summaries can be of use to you, and if you get sick of them be sure to let me know.

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