Perspectives on Mormon Theology: Apologetics


edited by Blair G. Van Dyke and Loyd Isao Ericson

Nominated for Best Religious Non-Fiction by the Association for Mormon Letters

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Also available in ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Apple.
Part of the Perspectives on Mormon Theology series.

Book Description:

This volume in the Perspectives on Mormon Theology series is an exploration of Mormon apologetics—or the defense of faith. Since its very beginning, various Latter-day Saints have sought to utilize evidence and reason to actively promote or defend beliefs and claims within the Mormon tradition. Mormon apologetics reached new levels of sophistication as believers trained in fields such as Near-Eastern languages and culture, history, and philosophy began to utilize their knowledge and skills to defend their beliefs.

The contributors to this volume seek to explore the textures and contours of apologetics from multiple perspectives, revealing deep theological and ideological fissures within the Mormon scholarly community concerning apologetics. However, in spite of deep-seated differences, what each author has in common is a passion for Mormonism and how it is presented and defended. This volume captures that reality and allows readers to encounter the terrain of Mormon apologetics at close range.

Praise for Apologetics:

“This was a great series of articles that will expand our understanding of what it is to defend the Church, and the various ways to do so.” 
— Gerald Smith, Millennial Star
“Divine love can come in ideas as well as other forms. . . . So here's a book of ideas. I hope you find it nurturing and stimulating, worth thinking and writing and talking about.
— Harlow Clark, Association for Mormon Letters
Those who want to learn about the art and practice of defending the faith—known classically as apologetics—will enjoy reading Perspectives on Mormon Theology: Apologetics. . . . The fifteen authors share a variety of perspectives, both praising and critiquing past and present approaches.” 
— Devan Jensen, BYU Religious Studies Center

Q&A with the editors

Table of Contents:

Preface: A Brief Introduction and Orientation
-    Blair G. Van Dyke and Loyd Isao Ericson, volume editors
1. Critical Foundations of Mormon Apologetics
-    Blair G. Van Dyke
2. A Brief Defense of Apologetics
-    Daniel C. Peterson
3. Boundary Maintenance that Pushes the Boundaries: Scriptural and Theological Insights from Apologetics
-    Neal Rappleye
4. I Think, Therefore I Defend
-    Michael R. Ash
5. A Wall Between Church and Academy
-    Benjamin E. Park
6. Mormon Apologetics and Mormon Studies: Truth, History, and Love
-    Ralph C. Hancock
7. The Intellectual Cultures of Mormonism: Faith, Reason, and the Apologetic Enterprise 
-    Brian D. Birch
8. The Role of Women in Apologetics
-    Juliann Reynolds
9. Avoiding Collateral Damage: Creating a Woman-Friendly Mormon Apologetics
-    Julie M. Smith
10. “The Perfect Union of Man and Woman”: Reclamation and Collaboration in Joseph Smith’s Theology Making
-    Fiona Givens
11. Lamanites, Apologetics, and Tensions in Mormon Anthropology
-    David Knowlton
12. Conceptual Confusion and the Building of Stumbling Blocks of Faith
-    Loyd Isao Ericson
13. Shifting Intellectual and Religious Paradigms: One Apologist’s Journey into Critical Study
-    David Bokovoy
14. Toward a New Vision of Apologetics
-    Joseph M. Spencer
15. Apologetics as Theological Praxis
-    Seth Payne

About the Editors:

Blair G. Van Dyke is an independent scholar and teaches philosophy and religious studies at Utah Valley University. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Foundation For Religious Diplomacy and is the Custodian of the Mormon Chapter of the Foundation. He holds a Doctorate in the philosophy of education from Brigham Young University. Van Dyke is the co-author of Holy Lands, A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Near East.

Loyd Isao Ericson received his B.S. in philosophy at Utah Valley University and pursued an M.A. in philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University. Since 2009 he has been the managing editor of Greg Kofford Books. He is a series co-editor for the Perspectives on Mormon Theology series and a co-editor of Discourses in Mormon Theology: Philosophical and Theological Possibilities  and has been published in Sunstone, Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, and the Claremont Journal of Mormon Studies, which he helped found.

More Information:

287 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58958-580-5 (paperback); 978-1-58958-581-2 (hardcover)