Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
Wrestling the Angel
The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity
By Terryl L. Givens
What People Are Saying
"Givens successfully tackles a mountain of logistical, chronological, and topical challenges in an astonishing work of scholarship. This comprehensive and impressive volume is fundamental in the study of an important, multifaceted, and understudied piece of religious history."
— Library Journal
"Givens, possibly the most significant voice in the field of Mormon studies, has previously explained Mormonism by way of scripture, history, and philosophy. Here, he turns his attention to theology, a more difficult proposition than it sounds, since Mormons tend to emphasize practical living rather than theological speculation and believe in continuing revelation...What emerges is a complex, nuanced picture of a dynamic faith."
— Publishers Weekly
"Givens has given us a hugely impressive, erudite and systematic work. He shows us the vast and complex landscape of this most extraordinary and most American of religions. Through this monumental work we experience the sheer scale and audacity of Mormon cosmology and theology and how this transforms our understanding of divine nature and human nature alike."
— Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor, The New School for Social Research
"Givens has provided the most thorough and expert accounting of Mormonism's place in the Christian thought-world. The book raises the bar for those who would challenge Mormonism's status as a Christian faith. For the rest of us, who simply want to understand Mormonism, it is a welcome gift of fine scholarship."
— Kathleen Flake, Richard Lyman Bushman Professor in Mormon Studies, University of Virginia
"We—general readers and scholars—need a lucid survey of the Latter-day Saints' complex doctrinal developments. We also need work that places the whole of Mormon theology in conversation with Western culture and historic Christian thought. We now have both in one remarkable, rewarding book."
— David Holland, Associate Professor of North American Religious History, Harvard Divinity School
"In a sweep of enormous scope Givens takes Mormon thought from the cultural world of its nineteenth century American emergence through theological debates on orthodoxy-heresy amongst the early Christian Fathers to Protestantism's heyday and to today's Latter-day Saint distinctiveness."
— Douglas J. Davies, author of The Mormon Culture of Salvation
"Terryl Givens' careful and detailed account succeeds admirably in its goal of presenting the origins and development of Mormon theology clearly. The book is particularly welcome for giving readers a solid sense of where Latter-day Saint theology aligns with, and differs from, the theologies of main Christian traditions."
"Terryl Givens's scholarship is magisterial, yet this book brilliantly synthesizes key themes in Mormon thought in a way which is accessible and engaging for the non-specialist reader. An essential study of contemporary Mormon religious thought and its origins which should be read by any serious student of comparative Christian traditions."
— Fenella Cannell, Associate Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science