EXCAVATING MORMON PASTS: The New Historiography of the Last Half Century

Newell G. Bringhurst, Other . Greg Kofford Books $39.95 (442p) ISBN 978-1-58958-091-6

Mormonism was born less than 200 years ago, but in that short time it has developed into a dynamic world religious movement. With that growth has come the inevitable restructuring and reevaluation of its history and doctrine. Mormon and non-Mormon scholars alike have viewed Joseph Smith's religion as fertile soil for religious, historical and sociological studies. Many early attempts to either defend or defame the church were at best sloppy and often dishonest. It has taken decades for Mormon scholarship to mature to its present state. The editors of this book have assembled 16 essays addressing the substantial number of published works in the field of Mormon studies from 1950 to the present. The contributors come from various segments of the Mormon tradition and fairly represent the broad intellectual spectrum of that tradition. Each essay focuses on a particular aspect of Mormonism (history, women's issues, polygamy, etc.), and each is careful to fairly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the books under discussion. More importantly, each volume is placed in context with other, related works, giving the reader a panoramic view of contemporary research. Students of Mormonism will find this collection of historiographical essays an invaluable addition to their libraries. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 442 pages - 978-1-58958-090-9
Paperback - 482 pages - 978-1-58958-115-9
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