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This profile was last updated on 2/10/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. James McLachlan

Wrong Dr. James McLachlan?

Executive Board Member

Company Description: The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology has been formed at a time when interest in Mormon Studies is blossoming. In the latter part of the twentieth century,...   more
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • PhD , Religious Studies
    University of Toronto
41 Total References
Web References
Organization
www.smpt.org, 10 Feb 2014 [cached]
James McLachlan
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James McLachlan Western Carolina University
Call for Papers - 2010 SMPT Conference
www.smpt.org, 10 Feb 2014 [cached]
For more information, visit our web site at http://www.smpt.org/, or contact Benjamin Huff at benjaminhuff@rmc.edu, or SMPT President James McLachlan at jmclachla@email.wcu.edu.
Mormon Stories: James McLachlan -- Compelling Mormonism | Mormon Stories Podcast
mormonstories.org, 17 Nov 2011 [cached]
302-303: James McLachlan — Compelling Mormonism | 302-303: James McLachlan — Compelling Mormonism | JimMcLachlan2 | Read more »
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302-303: James McLachlan — Compelling Mormonism | 302-303: James McLachlan — Compelling Mormonism | JimMcLachlan2 | Read more »
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302-303: James McLachlan - Compelling Mormonism
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James McLachlan is a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Carolina University, and is actively involved in academic discussions of Mormonism as a co-chair of the American Academy of Religion's Mormon Studies Group and a board member and past president of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. But to overplay his academic bona fides is possibly a mistake, because, as this interview with longtime friend and Mormon Stories contributor Dan Wotherspoon reveals, Jim is the opposite of the stuffy scholar stereotype. In this two-part interview, his incredibly quick and inquisitive mind is on full display, but it's his good humor and ability to use observations from everyday life, great literature, and important films to elucidate powerful philosophical and religious questions that will surely captivate listeners. Among other discussions, through Jim's lenses Mormonism's fully engaged God-as Sterling McMurrin described: a God with his "own problems"-comes alive and becomes a highly compelling alternative to traditional Christian views that borrow so heavily from Greek ideas about the nature of perfection.
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44 Responses to 302-303: James McLachlan - Compelling Mormonism
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Jim McLachlan
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I was engaged by the interview with Dr. McLachlan but am left disturbed when individuals of his stature within the Mormon community inflate the charity Mormons perform [where does it say that pure religion is never having to pay for movers?] while discounting the charity performed by organizations outside the greater LDS community [Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc...]. I wouldn't even say that Mormons do disaster relief very well when their prime objective many times is solely good publicity. My twenty years as a Mormon proved to me that Mormons are overly insular and contribute virtually nothing to the communities in which they live except in areas where they dominate the population base.
Dr.McLachlan is hanging onto Mormonism because he doesn't want to expend the energy to engage himself in other faith-based or secular organizations that would give him the same connections to people that he gets in Mormonism. Certainly that's his prerogative but he shouldn't be discounting those opportunities.
I am curious how Dr.McLachlan reconciles the missionary efforts of himself and his church with his knowledge. How does one justify preaching an exclusive view of truth to investigators/converts requiring them to change their beliefs, cultural practices, and tribe when Dr.McLachlan is not willing to do the same when his own faith tradition is lacking? How does one justify sowing discord in convert families?
Jim McLachlan
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It has been one of my favorites here on MS. As a monthly-paid subscriber, I hope that the philosophy nerd-fest podcast as discussed by Dan and Dr. McLachlan comes to fruition.
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I am also wondering if Dr. McLachlan can post a suggested reading list to accompany this podcast.
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This was very enlightening and cerebral, however throughout the podcast I couldn't help thinking that Mr McLachlan seemed to be expending a lot of time and energy tip toeing around Mormon teachings that are in opposition to anyone who tries to live life with a greater sense of empathy and compassion.
Mr McLachlan also seems to have resolved that much of Mormonism is not inspired of God, but there are enough good ideas in there for this religion to be worthy of at least 10% of a devotees income and much more of a portion of their time.
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Jim McLachlan
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Thanks to Dan W. and Jim for taking the time to have this discussion.
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James, what on earth is the appeal of Marxism? If relating to others is so fundamental to joy and if service and acts of love are so meaningful, shouldn't we hope for a system of government that leaves the field clear for that kind of thing? If government tries to solve more, it leaves the individual with less to solve and care about. Why should I help my neighbor if he is being taken care of already by the government? How can it ever be better to have more planning made on our behalf than less? I'm asking a moral or philosophical question. (I don't believe a Marxist system will function better on a practical level either, but that's another can of worms.) I've heard it said "the unexamined life is not worth living". It seems to me that Marxism strives to protect us from having to "examine" life.
Jim McLachlan
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Dr. McLachlan spent weaving his theology from selected strands of Mormonism. Alas, natural selection suffers the disadvantage of being random at its core. Naturalists cannot find their meanings ready made in the form revelations from ancestral gods - a theology that suggests an infinite regress to higher forms of natural law that reign supreme - or Spinoza's god. But the naturalists can find help in this same Spinoza, and in many other philosophers that Mormons might read along with Dr. McLachlan's recommendations.
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I do not mean to belittle Dr. McLachlan's in saying this. Showing up for neighbors is important. And I must confess that I do not get called to help move ward members as often.
Despite my contrariness, I do appreciate and share Dr. McLachlan's core values, especially the conviction
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differ only in that Dr. McLachlan repeatedly included God among his "others. To my ears this felt superfluous - and awkward. I was left with the impression that Dr. McLachlan was but a single added word past a bona fide secular humanist. Perhaps it's not so a big word that it needs to make a serious difference.
Thanks Dr. Witherspoon and Dr. McLachlan for an outstanding offering.
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I'd never heard of James, but read the description (professor of philosophy and theology who brings in film and literature) and knew I had to give it a listen. Thanks!
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James McLachlan was quite an interesting character. In the first part of the interview, he came across as a very well-rounded, even-keeled, knowledgeable, and open minded person. Sadly, in the second half of the program, he was a bit disrespectful of those who do not hold his political views and a bit condescending to those who do not hold to his theology.
Mormon Stories - LDS
mormonstories.org, 16 Oct 2013 [cached]
James McLachlan is a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Carolina University, and is actively involved in academic discussions of Mormonism as a co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Mormon Studies Group and a board member and past president of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. But to overplay his academic bona fides is possibly a mistake, because, as this interview with longtime friend and Mormon Stories contributor Dan Wotherspoon reveals, Jim is the opposite of the stuffy scholar stereotype. In this two-part interview, his incredibly quick and inquisitive mind is on full display, but it’s his good humor and ability to use observations from everyday life, great literature, and important films to elucidate powerful philosophical and religious questions that will surely captivate listeners.
...
James McLachlan: Compelling Mormonism Pt. 2 James McLachlan is a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Carolina University, and is actively involved in academic discussions of Mormonism as a co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Mormon Studies Group and a board member and past president of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. But to overplay his academic bona fides is possibly a mistake, because, as this interview with longtime friend and Mormon Stories contributor Dan Wotherspoon reveals, Jim is the opposite of the stuffy scholar stereotype. In this two-part interview, his incredibly quick and inquisitive mind is on full display, but it’s his good humor and ability to use observations from everyday life, great literature, and important films to elucidate powerful philosophical and religious questions that will surely captivate listeners.
...
James McLachlan is a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Carolina University, and is actively involved in academic discussions of Mormonism as a co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Mormon Studies Group and a board member and past president of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology.
Photos
www.smpt.org, 10 Feb 2014 [cached]
James McLachlan
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