Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology: Essays in Honor of David L. Paulsen


edited by Jacob T. Baker
Also available in ebook for KindleNookApple, and Kobo.

Book Description:

Few scholars have made an impact on contemporary Mormon thought and theology like BYU Professor of Philosophy David L. Paulsen. Recently retired after nearly 40 years of teaching and mentoring, Paulsen has produced an imposing catalog of influential books and articles on Mormon teachings. More significant than his impressive scholarly oeuvre, however, has been his personal influence on generations of students, many of whom he inspired to become teachers and mentors themselves, and contributors to an increasingly interesting and relevant religious conversation. In addition, as one of the first serious LDS interlocutors with Orthodox Christian scholars, Paulsen has established professional and personal relationships with a wide array of non-LDS academics engaged in a serious and respectful dialogue regarding Mormonism and Christianity.
     This volume is a collection of essays representative of Paulsen's wide-ranging professional and personal influence, collected in honor of his many achievements and published on the occasion of his retirement. Each of the authors (a majority of whom are not LDS) has been impacted by Paulsen's scholarship and friendship in important ways, and have authored essays reflective of this dynamic. In addition, the essays are significant contributions to Mormon thought in and of themselves, covering diverse areas of inquiry from Mormon atheology to the possibility of an Evangelical Mormonism; from Liberation Theology to Mormon conceptions of divine embodiment; from Mormon approaches to transcendence to Mormonism's confrontation with evil and suffering, and many more.

Praise for Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology:

“This richly stimulating volume offers fitting testimony to the respect and affection felt for David Paulsen and his work by a wide range of thinkers both within and without the Mormon tradition. In a very real sense, in fact, since he's the inspiration for it, this collection of essays continues and extends his quiet but deeply important contribution to Mormon thought and to thinking about Mormonism.” — Daniel C Peterson, Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University; President, Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology

There is no better measure of the growing importance of Mormon thought in contemporary religious debate than this volume of essays for David Paulsen. In a large part thanks to him, scholars from all over the map are discussing the questions Mormonism raises about the nature of God and the purpose of life. These essays let us in on a discussion in progress.” — Richard Lyman Bushman, inaugural Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate University, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.

“This grand merci to a master teacher-scholar is a fitting tribute to a pioneer in intra-Christian encounter. It’s a daring act of intellectual exploration, too. Fifty years ago, the Second Vatican Council taught us that there can be no genuine Christian theology without an ecumenical change of heart. This book makes it clear that there can be no real ecumenism without the riches of the Mormon mind. Professor Paulsen’s impact on LDS thought is well known. Baker and his collaborators invite us to consider the larger scope of his legacy. These original and insightful essays chart a new course for Christian intellectual life.” — Peter A. Huff, Besl Family Chair of Ethics, Religion and Society, Xavier University, and author of Vatican II and The Voice of Vatican II

“In a hundred years when the discipline comes of age, David Paulsen will be gratefully remembered as the first modern Mormon theologian.” — Adam S. Miller, Professor of Philosophy, Collin College, author of Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology

“Far more than the rightly deserved celebration of one of Mormonism’s premier philosophers, this volume of smart, incisive essays advances the case for taking Mormonism seriously within the philosophy of religion–an accomplishment that all generations of Mormon thinkers should be proud of.” — Patrick Q. Mason, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate University

These essays accomplish a rare thing—bringing light rather than heat to an on-going conversation. And the array of substantial contributions from outstanding scholars and theologians within and outside Mormonism is itself a fitting tribute to a figure who has been at the forefront of bringing Mormonism into dialogue with larger traditions.” — Terryl L. Givens, author of People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture

“The emergence of a vibrant Mormon scholarship is nowhere more in evidence than in the excellent philosophical contributions of David Paulsen. In this important volume, thinkers from several different religious and philosophical traditions engage in creative ways topics that David has written about—a marvelous tribute to a gifted intellectual leader!” — Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals

“A must have for those interested in the Philosophy of Mormonism.” — Kirk Caudle, The Mormon Book Review.

“There might be reasons today to give the alternatives to [traditional Christian] beliefs another look. If there are such reasons, then this book . . . is a good place to start.” — Stephen Webb, author of Jesus Christ, Eternal GodBYU Studies

“Most striking about this collection is that non-Mormon contributors outnumber Mormon contributors–-certainly a first for collections honoring LDS scholars, and a reflection of Paulsen’s ability to attract and engage a variety of interlocutors.” — Blair Hodges, By Common Consent


Jacob Baker - Introduction; David Lamont Paulson: A Life
1. Carl Mosser - Classifying Mormon Theism
2. Donald W. Musser - Collision, Division, Conversation: When Mormon Scholars and Christian Theologians Talk
3. Brian D. Birch - “Faith Seeking Understanding”: Mormon Atheology and the Challenge of Fideism
4. Douglas Davies - Restoration or Rebirth: Mormon and American Options of Authenticity
5. Francis J. Beckwith - Mormonism, Natural Law, and Constitutional Democracy: Reflections on the Romney Candidacy
6. Paul Owen - The Enigma of Mormonism: Ruminations of an Anglican Friend and Critic
7. Joseph L. Price - Pursuing Truth, Justice, and Dialogue: A Primer on Liberation Theology Toward an Intra-Christian Dialogue
8. Lyndsey Nay and John Welch - he Messiah and Prophet Puzzle: Explaining Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith
9. Craig L. Blomberg - Is Evangelical Mormonism a Viable Concept for the Near Future?
10. John E. Sanders - Conceptual Metaphor Theory and the Mormon Understanding of God
11. Stephen T. Davis - David Paulsen on Divine Embodiment
12. Clark H. Pinnock - Does Divine Passibility Entail Divine Corporeality?
13. James E. Faulconer - Transascendence: Transcendence in Mormon Thought
14. Robert L. Millet - “We Shall Be Like Him”: Explorations into the LDS Doctrine of Deification
15. Blake T. Ostler - Kalam Infinity Arguments and the Infinite Past
16. Kelli (Dennis) Potter - Lehi’s Opposition Theodicy
17. James McLachlan - All’s Well that Ends Well: Evil, Eschatology, and Love in F. W. J. Schelling and David L. Paulsen

About the Editor:

Jacob T. Baker is a doctoral student in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. He is a co-founder of the Claremont Journal of Mormon Studies, has published articles in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Element: The Journal for the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology, and Sunstone, and has presented papers at various academic conferences around the world.

 More Information:

422 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58958-192-0

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