The new “Mormon Studies Review”


The multipart choir of religious studies


Two years after the demise of its predecessor, the FARMS Review, the new Mormon Studies Review (which, from now on, will appear once annually rather than twice a year) is off the press.  Here is the table of contents:

Friendship: An Editor’s Introduction 1

Spencer Fluhman


Mormon Studies in the Academy: A Conversation between Ann Taves and Spencer Fluhman 9

Beyond “Surreptitious Staring”: Migration, Missions, and the Generativity of Mormonism for the Comparative and Translocative Study of Religion 17

Thomas A. Tweed

The State of Mormon Folklore Studies 29

Tom Mould and Eric A. Eliason

Roundtable: The State of Mormon Studies

In Defense of Methodological Pluralism: Theology, Apologetics, and the Critical Study of Mormonism 53
Brian D. Birch

Gender in Mormon Studies: Obstacles and Opportunities 63

Susanna Morrill

The Oak and the Banyan: The “Glocalization” of Mormon Studies 70

Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye

iv Contents

“Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom”: Some Observations on Mormon Studies 80

Daniel C. Peterson

Mormon Studies and Method: The Rigors of the Academic Study of Religion and the Maturity of Mormon Studies 89

Stephen C. Taysom

We’ll Find the Place: Situating Mormon Studies 96

Kristine Haglund

Review Essays

Terryl Givens, Fiona Givens, and the Rehabilitation of Mormon Theology 103

Matthew Bowman

The Reluctant Metaphysicians 115

Samuel M. Brown

On a Dawning Era for the Book of Mormon 132

Joseph M. Spencer

Just War and Mormon Ethics 144

Benjamin R. Hertzberg

Book Reviews

David F. Holland, Sacred Borders: Continuing Revelation and Canonical Restraint in Early America 155

W. Clark Gilpin

Paul C. Gutjahr, The “Book of Mormon”: A Biography 160

Kathryn Lofton

Matthew Bowman, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith 166

David Walker

Adam S. Miller, Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology  174

Stephen H. Webb

Stephen H. Webb, Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter 182

Adam S. Miller

John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet 188

David J. Howlett

Claudia L. Bushman and Caroline Kline, eds., Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection 196

Jana Riess

Joanna Brooks, The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith 203

Zina Petersen

Matthew Kester, Remembering Iosepa: History, Place, and Religion in the American West 210

Hokulani K. Aikau

Armand L. Mauss, Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport:  Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic 214

David E. Campbell

Mormon Studies: A Bibliographic Essay 223

Blair Dee Hodges


Posted from Arlington, Virginia



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  • Anyotheruser

    I realise that it’s the first edition of the new review, but it really seems a tad too self-referential. Many of the articles seem to be about “Mormon Studies”, rather than “Mormonism”, the Book of Mormon or so on. There seem to be about a 100 pages of academics writing about other academics.

    • DanielPeterson

      I think your observation is quite perceptive.

      • NathanShumate

        Maybe it should be renamed “Mormon Studies Studies.”

  • Kristine Haglund

    Shocking, really, that a journal titled Mormon Studies Review would be mostly about what’s going on in the field of Mormon Studies.

    • DanielPeterson

      Who’s shocked?

      I’m not shocked.

  • RaymondSwenson

    Douglas Davies expressed criticism of other speakers at the 2005 Library of Congress symposium on Joseph Smith and his impact on America’s religious culture. He is a true Mormon Studies scholar, focused on accurately describing Mormon teachings and relating them to other currents of thought. He was upset that some other speakers were advocating for the worth of Smith’s teachings, rather than maintaining detachment.

    That nonpartisan stance is one where Mormon and non-Mormon scholars can meet, as they did at the 2005 symposium, and promote real understanding of Mormon beliefs and their implications for non-Mormons. There is value in building bridges of understanding, including providing regular forums for this dialogue.

    On the other hand, one can hope that study of Mormon beliefs and culture would also help non-Mormons grow in their tolerance toward the natural pro-Mormon attitude of Mormons who believe that the genius of Mormon beliefs and social institutions is also an indicator that they represent the work of God. Having journals and forums dedicated to each kind of expression would be appropriate. It is not necessary for one type of forum to preclude the other.