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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Dialogue: Vol 15 No 1
204 / Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought worst type of authoritarian irrationality and may lose its credibility to anyone familiar with the technical problems this system refuses to address. Although this group claims to hold scripture highly because it believes in the inerrancy of the original form of scripture, it appears to outsiders to have low regard for scripture because it refuses to take scripture on its own terms with its imperfections as well as its strengths. Indeed, in this system, scripture and all past revelation become mere adjuncts to the present revelation, materials for proof -texting, rather than normative guides or even central reflections of faith, with a compelling attraction for and claim upon the faithful in the present time. GROUP II: CRITICALLY MODIFIED CORRECTIVE HERMENEUTIC This group is close in its presuppositions to Group I, but here there is more a posteriori thought, more dialectic between faith, experience, and evidence. James Talmage and B. H. Roberts, writing early in the century as general authorities and major forces in the Mormon progressive theology of the period, as well as recent authors like Sidney Sperry, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Robert J. Matthews, Keith Meservy, Gerald Lund, and Ellis Rasmussen are in this group, along with most contributors to current LDS Seminaries and Institutes of Religion textbooks.19 In this group more scholars are acquainted with the biblical languages and modern critical methodology—Sperry, Meservy and Rasmussen are examples of competence in the languages. Although this group holds to the basic program of correction and authoritative interpretation of Group I, they devote a good deal more attention to details and verification of evidence. They pay greater attention to problems, and they show greater critical acumen. As a result, the use of LDS sources to correct biblical texts is more circumspect and less frequent, though still abundantly in evidence, particularly among those authors unfamiliar with biblical languages. A clear, dogmatic, apologetic tone still is heard in much of these authors' writing. Often this apologetic tendency damages the credibility of the authors: Clark, for instance, insists on the reliability of the Byzantine textual tradition of the New Testament because of its closeness to the Peshitta and the Peshiffa's supposed closeness to a postulated Aramaic substratum for the gospels, Acts and the Apocalypse.20 His ignorance of New Testament Greek and Syriac prevents him from recognizing with most scholars that the Peshitta is dependent upon the Greek, not vice versa. His argument clearly reveals his fundamentalist bias. If the newer critical texts are accepted, we lose many traditional prooftexts for LDS belief, and the religious health of the saints is threatened. Similar tendencies toward a bottom line of doctrinal defense and authoritarianism are found to a greater or lesser extent in all the scholars of this group. This group is less committed to the inerrancy of the Bible in its original form, and it models its concept of propositional revelation with more nuances. It shares most of Group I's strengths, while it loses most of Group Fs weak-