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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Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
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Book Reviews 127 with his manifestly impressive knowledge adroitly sorts out a tangled argument, it fell far on the technical side of the spectrum and seemed designed for scholars, not a lay audience. All five essays in Part Three, "Latter-Day Saint Scripture," are highly scholarly, and thoroughly researched and documented; they focus on the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the modern Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Boldly subjecting a small portion of a Mormon text "to the same sort of comparative study which we are willing to apply to other texts, believing that this can be an illuminating venture, rather than a reducing exercise," Adele McCollum in her "The First Vision: Re-Visioning Historical Experience" examines Joseph Smith's account of his first vision in the Pearl of Great Price and concludes that a religion must be polytheistic to survive in our present-day pluralistic society and culture. Steven P. Sondrup investigates the Articles of Faith, yet another document in the Pearl of Great Price, in his cogent essay "On Confessing Belief: Thoughts on the Language of the Articles of Faith." Sondrup's explanation of "I believe" and "we believe" in the larger context of agree, trust, and faith is fascinating and meaningful. His analysis of the contrast between the Articles of Faith and Catholic and Protestant creeds further provides scope to study comparative features of religions including the linguistic significance of the scriptural texts. The three remaining essays in this part deal with typology in the Book of Mormon. I disapproved of the editor's sequence. From the reader's point of view, it would have read more smoothly to have George S. Tate's essay, "The Typology of the Exodus Pattern in the Book of Mormon" precede Bruce Jorgensen's "The Dark Way to the Tree: Typological Unity in the Book of Mormon," and Richard Rust's " 'All Things Which Have Been Given of God . . . Are the Typifying of Him': Typology in the Book of Mormon," because Tate's article details the meaning and significance of typology before it begins to discuss the Exodus pattern. Because of the growing attention to typological approaches to literary investigations in the Book of Mormon, Mormon readers should find these essays enlightening. Let me tell my reader that he should, after a careful reading of the essays, come back to Gerald Bradford's informed and insightful introduction. It is both engaging and rewarding. Bradford comprehensively grasps the varied subject matter and skillfully weaves the several strands into a rich fabric. Since the volume under consideration is primarily based on the papers read in a symposium, the reader inevitably recognizes a certain unevenness in tone, in style, and even in scholarship in the essays — the range is from murky to enlightening, simple to complex, informal and personal to formal and academic, general to specific. Despite their uneven nature, however, on the whole they reinforce the strength of my belief in the perennial value of sacred texts in the affairs of humankind. The purpose of this book is not to rehabilitate any religion nor to discuss the supremacy of any religion. Its purpose is to present a global perspective on "the religious dimension of our common human heritage." A rich fare! A splendid collection! A bold venture! Congratulations are due the directors and the advisory board of the Religious Studies Center of BYU for organizing the symposium and publishing the volume of essays. I highly recommend this book to my readers. This is a book for the Mormon and the non-Mormon alike, for the Christian and the non-Christian, for the common man and the specialized, and for the libraries.