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Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Religion in America) Updated Edition Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199739035
ISBN-10: 019973903X
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Twenty-two years after it first appeared, Mormons and the Bible is as much a classic of American religious history broadly as of Mormonism narrowly." --The Juvenile Instructor


From the previous edition:

"A model of what other cultural studies of scripture might be....Goes well beyond existing literature in both its breadth of research into actual Mormon practice and its subtlety of interpretation about the place of Mormon scripturism in American cultural life....The book, in sum, is a treasure."--Modern Theology


"Gives non-Mormons a scholarly and incisively written look at the tradition Joseph Smith set in motion. Further, it creates for Latter-day Saint readers an opportunity for enlightened and enlightening self-analysis."--Journal of Mormon History


"It would be difficult to think of a better book for non-Mormons to read on Mormonism than Barlow's. He places Mormonism in a comparative context as few others have."--Religious Studies Review


"One of the most interesting books I have read on Mormonism in recent years....This is a persuasive and well-written book that offers a fresh approach to understanding the saints within a larger context of American religion."--American Historical Review


"An important seminal work, among the five or six most significant works examining Mormonism's rich and varied past to appear over the course of the past 20 years. As such, it is highly recommended as essential reading for all students of Mormon studies and the American West generally."--Journal of the West


"As both a former employee of the LDS church's religious educational system and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Barlow brings a sure-footed competence to his discussion of Mormonism, Biblical studies, and religion in America generally."--Pacific Historical Review


"There can be no question that as a work of Mormon intellectual history this is a seminal--and eminently readable--work....Mormons and the Bible has all the markings of a Mormon classic."--Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought


"Mormons and the Bible is one of the most stimulating books to come on the Mormon market for years--stimulating because it presents a fresh, delightful new path through the rut-worn field of Mormon history and doctrine. Disarmingly simple in its major thesis, yet profound in its insights and scholarly to the core, it is effortlessly readable."--Sunstone


About the Author


Philip L. Barlow is Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. His books include The Oxford Handbook to Mormonism (co-edited with Terryl Givens, forthcoming, 2013), The New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (OUP 2000, co-authored with Edwin Scott Gaustad) and, as co-editor with Mark Silk, Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America's Common Denominator? (2004). He is past president of the Mormon History Association.
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Product Details

  • Series: Religion in America
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Updated Edition edition (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019973903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199739035
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are few other Mormon books I can think of that I wish every Mormon owned and studied carefully. Though I purchased this book with the intent of better understanding how Mormons have used the Bible throughout their relatively brief history, the book went above and beyond those expectations. The real revelation here is coming to understand how Mormons have approached _scripture_ throughout their history – from the liberal, remarkably open views of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to the staunchly conservative, cautionary perspectives of Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie (and everything in between and beyond). Barlow’s expertise in this area is unparalleled in Mormondom, and the clarity and insight he brings to the subject makes the book eminently readable.

A few poignant questions this book either directly or indirectly answers:

- Have Mormon leaders always interpreted the Bible more or less the same way? At its core, is Mormonism more liberal or conservative in its approach to scripture?

- Is doctrine eternal or provisional? Is scripture malleable or immutable?

- Is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible a restoration of ancient text, inspired commentary, or something else?

- Were Mormons always partial to the KJV translation of the Bible? Why do they continue to use it?

Barlow analyzes the use and interpretation of the Bible through the eyes of an assortment of influential Mormon figures, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, B. H. Roberts, Joseph Fielding Smith, William Chamberlin, J. Reuben Clark, Bruce R. McConkie, and Lowell Bennion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderfully documented. A valuable contribution to the subject.
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