Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Parallelomania and the Study of Latter-day Scripture: Confirmation, Coincidence, or the Collective Unconscious?
Parallelomania and the Study of Latter-day Scripture: Confirmation, Coincidence, or the Collective Unconscious? Douglas F. Salmon What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already, in the ages before us. —Ecclesiastes 1:8-9 There has been an exegetical trend during the last several decades to draw endless parallels to texts from the ancient Near East and beyond in an attempt to validate the writings in the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. The pioneer and leader in this effort has been the great LDS scholar Hugh Nibley. In recent years, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) has continued this legacy. The number of parallels that Nibley has been able to uncover from amazingly disparate and arcane sources is truly staggering.1 Unfortunately there seems to be a neglect of any methodological reflection or articulation in this endeavor. This article looks at some of the ways parallels have been used by Nibley in the exposition of latter-day scripture, the types of parallels employed, and some of the problems that arise from this comparative exercise. 1. One of Nibley's editors has remarked, "Hugh Nibley has probably quoted from apocryphal writings more than anyone else in the world" (Gary P. Gillum, "Apocryphal Literature—Those 'Hidden' Books in the Stacks: A Selected Bibliography," in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C. Wilfred Griggs [Provo, UT: Religious Study Center, BYU, 1986], 127).