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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Study in Mutual Respect: Mormons and Muslims: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations
Reviews 155 potatoes to a shipboard diet previously dominated by oatmeal. These improvements — and the shortening of time aboard ship by an average of more than two weeks — must have made the voyage much easier. Sonne paints a rather negative picture of conditions for steerage passengers on nineteenth-century sailing vessels and steamships. True, they were "primitive" by comparison with today's living standards. However, three persons in a bunk and one cooked meal a day was hardly a step down for many Mormon emigrants. Franklin D. Richards was probably not exaggerating when he told Brigham Young in November 1855 that with recent improvements "many of our people are . . . enabled to live much better on ship board, with nothing to do, than they can at home with hard, laborious work." Sonne's treatment of Mormon mortality at sea also begs for further analysis. Although he suggests that overcrowding and other conditions aboard the ships were to blame, the greatest losses were overwhelmingly due to epidemics, usually measles, which struck down Scandinavian infants and children. These came mostly after improvements were made in diet and living space. Unaccountably, Sonne misses the forty-five deaths aboard the Monarch of the Sea in 1864. Finally, while Mormon immigration was clearly at "ebb tide" by 1890, Sonne's brief explanation could have been amplified. The demise of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund was hardly a factor; other avenues of financial aid to immigrants had long since predominated. The Manifesto notwithstanding, the year 1890 hardly seems pivotal to Mormon immigration; and the Panic of 1893 might have made a better ending point, in view of the role played by economic conditions. Sonne deserves much credit for what he has achieved. It is now hard to imagine anyone pursuing an interest in Mormon immigration without consulting Saints on the Seas. Hopefully, Sonne's Encyclopedia of Mormon Maritime Migration, which promises to be an equally significant contribution, will be published soon. Study in Mutual Respect Mormons and Muslims: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestation, edited with an introduction by Spencer J. Palmer (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1983), xii, 225 pp., $12.95. Reviewed by Robert C. Woodward, history faculty Northwest Nazarene College, Nampa, Idaho. It may well be true, as Arnold H. Green, professor of Near Eastern history at American University (Cairo), pointed out at a conference devoted to Mormons and Muslims in October 1981, that Protestants like to recite the similarities between Islam and Mormonism to degrade Mormonism. But when such comparisons were made in a sympathic setting, the experience appeared to be quite rewarding. The purpose of the conference was to help bridge the distance between the two faiths in the present world. Mormons and Muslims is a compilation of papers given by seventeen participants including Spencer J. Palmer, director of world religions in the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, who edited the book and wrote the introduction. The book is the eighth volume of the Religious Studies Monograph Series published by the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University. Several of the participants, writing from a Mormon perspective, went to considerable lengths to show parallels with Islam. In welcoming the participants, the associate academic vice president of Brigham Young University, Noel B. Reynolds,