The Anatomy of Book of Mormon Theology, Volume One
“Spencer’s work on the Book of Mormon is, as a whole, unmatched and unparalleled in the history of the tradition.” — Adam S. Miller
Available November 16, 2021 in paperback, hardcover, and ebook. Preorder today!
Part of our Contemporary Studies in Scripture series
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Few scholars of the Book of Mormon have read this volume of scripture as closely and rigorously as Joseph M. Spencer. And of those, none have devoted as much time and effort as he to a theological reading of that sacred text—that is, as Spencer writes, “how it might shape responsible thinking about questions pertaining to the life of religious commitment” (p. 1:173.)
The Anatomy of Book of Mormon Theology divides into two volumes exploring and thinking about these pertinent questions. Each concerns a different part of the defense of the claim that theology is and ought to be particularly important for Book of Mormon studies. In this first volume, Spencer gathers early essays in which he gestures toward theological interpretation without knowing how to defend it; essays about why theology is important to Book of Mormon scholarship and how to ensure that it does not overstep its boundaries; and essays that do theological work on the Book of Mormon in relatively obvious ways or with relatively traditional topics. The last category of essays divides into two subcategories: essays specifically on the central theological question of Jesus Christ’s atonement, as the Book of Mormon understands it; and essays on a variety of traditional theological topics, again as the Book of Mormon understands them.
Praise for The Anatomy of Book of Mormon Theology:
“Spencer’s work on the Book of Mormon is, as a whole, unmatched and unparalleled in the history of the tradition. I'd wager that no scholar in the history of the Latter-day Saint tradition has read the Book of Mormon as deeply or carefully as Spencer. I'd wager that no scholar in the history of the tradition is as thoroughly acquainted with all of the relevant Book of Mormon scholarship across all of the related disciplines as Spencer. And I'd bet my house on the fact that no other scholar in the history of the tradition is, simultaneously, as well versed in the relevant theological and philosophical issues—from classical philosophy through Christian theology through Kant, Hegel, Frege, phenomenology, structuralism, poststructuralism, post-secularism, and cutting edge contemporary philosophical work in philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, and metaphysics—that come to bear on contemporary Book of Mormon scholarship.” — Adam S. Miller, author of Future Mormon: Essays in Mormon Theology and Letters to a Young Mormon
About the Author:
Joseph M. Spencer is a philosopher and an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He is the author of dozens of articles and four books on philosophy and Latter-day Saint scripture. In addition, he serves as the editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, as the associate director of the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar, and as a vice president of the Book of Mormon Studies Association. He and his wife, Karen, live in Provo, Utah, with their five children.
302 pages + indices
ISBN: 978-1-58958-780-9 (paperback); 978-1-58958-781-6 (hardcover)