Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow. Oxford Univ., $34.95 (592p) ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2
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Early Mormonism is filled with colorful and influential characters, from the founding prophet, Joseph Smith, to gunslingers like Porter Rockwell and brilliant organizers like Brigham Young. One of the least studied, and least appreciated, of these figures is the subject of this thoroughly intriguing and satisfying work by two accomplished scholars, who have each written acclaimed works on aspects of Mormonism. The authors offer the first full-length scholarly treatment of one of the most important influences on the development of this distinctively American religion. Pratt is described by the authors as a “missionary, hymnist, explorer, politician, theologian, satirist, editor, and historian,” but he is much more than the sum of his parts. Like the apostle Paul, Pratt was a man of many talents and profound contradictions. And like Paul, Pratt traveled, preached, and was imprisoned, finally emerging a hero and exemplar of a growing and maturing faith tradition. The authors have done a remarkable job in presenting the story of this unique and essential character. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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