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Title Volume 17, Number 2, Summer 1984
Subject Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Description 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.
Publisher Dialogue Foundation, 202 West 300 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
Scanning Vendor Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Contributors Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
Date 1984
Type Text
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Language eng
Rights Management Digital image, copyright 2004, Dialogue Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Title Page 35
Identifier V17N02-1449_Page 35.jpg
Source Dialogue: Vol 17 No 2
Article Title Career Apostates: Reflections on the Works of Jerald and Sandra Tanner
Description Career Apostates: Reflections on the Works of Jerald and Sandra Tanner Lawrence Foster or more than two decades, Jerald and Sandra Tanner have devoted I their lives to exposing and trying to destroy Mormonism. They have succeeded in upsetting Mormons of various persuasions, largely because of their abrasive writing style, a style which is most nearly reminiscent of FBI undercover agents reporting back to J. Edgar Hoover on the terrible continuing threat of the world-wide communist (read: Mormon) conspiracy. Yet the Tanners have been more than simply gadflies; in curious and often indirect ways, their work has also been a factor helping to stimulate serious Mormon historical writing. In addition to publishing many hard-to-find Mormon historical documents, their criticisms have highlighted issues that professional Mormon historians, operating from a very different perspective, have also sought to address. Despite the importance of the Tanners in these and in other ways, to date I know of no fully convincing scholarly assessment of their activities and significance. Mormon scholars have tended to shy away from public discussion of this controversial topic; anti-Mormon supporters of the Tanners have produced little but uncritical praise; while non-Mormons who know anything about the Tanners have wondered what all the fuss was about.1 As a non- Copyright © 1984 by Lawrence Foster. All rights reserved. LAWRENCE FOSTER is associate professor of American history at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, and author of Religion and Sexuality: Three American Communal Experiments of the Nineteenth Century. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), reprinted in paperback as Religion and Sexuality: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984). An earlier draft of this article, under its present title, was presented at the Mormon History Association annual meeting Omaha, Nebraska, 6 May 1983. I am grateful for the suggestions for revision made by many individuals, including Lester Bush, Ian G. Barber, and Robert F. Smith. Responsibility for any errors of fact or interpretation in this final article is mine alone, however. 1 Only two published critiques of the Tanners are worthy of scholarly attention. The most balanced assessment is Ian Barber, What Mormonism Isn't (Aukland, New Zealand: Pioneer Books, 1981), which unfortunately is largely unknown and virtually unobtainable in the United States. The best-known critique, by an anonymous "Latter-day Saint Historian,"
Creator Foster, Lawrence
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