The Anatomy of Book of Mormon Theology, Volume Two


by Joseph M. Spencer
“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. Preorder today!

Part of our Contemporary Studies in Scripture series

Book Description:

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 textthat 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. Whereas the first volume principally contains essays that deal with relatively traditional theological questions and concerns, the essays in this volume ask about what new worlds might be discovered in doing theological work on the Book of Mormon, focusing on what Spencer calls “microscopic” and “macroscopic” theological readings of the text. Essays in the first set examine no more than a verse of the Book of Mormon—more often just a single phrase or two—to see what theological implications lie within the details of the text. The second set of essays ask questions about the shape and intentions of the whole of the Book of Mormon, as this can be discerned through the ways it deploys biblical texts—and especially the writings of Isaiah. A third set of essays follows the two on microscopic and macroscopic styles of theology and are invitations to blur the boundaries that separate different styles of Book of Mormon scholarship. These final essays call on Book of Mormon scholars to move closer to theology and calls on theologians to move closer to the Book of Mormon.

The Anatomy of Book of Mormon Theology, Volume One

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.

More Information:

324 pages + indices
ISBN: 978-1-58958-783-0 (paperback); 978-1-58958-784-7 (hardcover)

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