By the Hand of Mormon

By the Hand of Mormon : The American Scripture That Launched a New World Religion

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With over 100 million copies in print, the Book of Mormon has spawned a vast religious empire, but it remains little discussed outside Mormon circles. Now Terryl Givens offers a full-length treatment of this highly influential work, illuminating many facets of this uniquely American scripture. Givens explores how the Book of Mormon has been a sacred sign, or divine testament of the Last Days and of Joseph Smith's role as a modern-day prophet. He shows how it has functioned as an ancient history of the pre-Columbian peopling of the Western Hemisphere, first by a small Old World exodus occurring in the era of Babel, and later by groups from Jerusalem in the age of Jeremiah. Givens describes how it has been seen as a cultural product, the imaginative ravings of a rustic religion maker more inspired by the winds of culture than the breath of God. Or it is seen as a new American Bible or Fifth Gospel, displacing, supporting, or perverting the canonical World of God, according to the disposition of the reader? Givens also examines the Book's shifting relationship to Mormon doctrine and its changing reputation among theologians and scholars. Finally, in exploring what Martin Marty refers to as the Book of Mormon's "revelatory appeal," Givens highlights the Book's role as the engine behind what may be the next world religion. The most wide ranging study of the subject, By the Hand of Mormon will fascinate anyone curious about a religious people who, despite their numbers, remains very much strangers in our more

Product details

  • Hardback | 330 pages
  • 164.1 x 243.8 x 28.7mm | 639.58g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019513818X
  • 9780195138184

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. "A Seer Shall the Lord My God Raise Up": The Prophet and the Plates; 2. "Out of the Dust": The Book of Mormon Comes Forth; 3. "A Marvellous Work and a Wonder": The Book of Mormon as Sacred Sign; 4. "I, Nephi, Wrote This Record": The Book of Mormon as Ancient History - Part One: The Search for a Mesoamerican Troy; 5. "I, Nephi, Wrote This Record": The Book of Morman as Ancient History - Part Two: The Search for a Rational Belief; 6. "Devices of the Devil": The Book of Mormon as a Cultural Product or Sacred Fiction; 7. "Plain and Precious Truths": The Book of Mormon as New Theology - Part One: The Book of Mormon and Biblical Christianity; 8. "Plain and Precious Truths": The Book of Mormon as New Theology - Part Two: Dialogic Revelation; 9. "A Standard unto My People": The Book of Mormon as a Cultural Touchstoneshow more

Review quote

This is a closely written, thoughtful (if polemical) book by a devoted scholar. It is certainly provocative reading, whether you happen to be a Mormon or not. New York Times A remarkably lucid and useful study of the patterns of American prejudices against the Mormon people. It provides also a valuable paradigm for the study of all religious heresy. Harold Bloom, Yale Universityshow more

About Terryl L. Givens

Terryl L. Givens is Professor of Religion and Literature at the University of Richmond. He is the author of The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy, which won the Chipman Award from the Mormon History more

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599 ratings
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3 12% (69)
2 3% (17)
1 1% (5)
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