Before the literary scholars, theologians, philosophers, and scripture scholars who currently dominate the field of Book of Mormon studies got their hands on the Book of Mormon, the volume was largely the preserve of historians and religious studies scholars. The same impulses that gave birth to the interdisciplinary field that goes by the name of “Mormon studies” also allowed for serious study of the Book of Mormon to take place within the secular academy.1 Or perhaps it is the reverse—that once scholars began to get comfortable with the notion of taking the Book of Mormon seriously, the conditions were then ripe for the advent of the field of Mormon studies. I'm less interested here in determining whether the chicken or egg came first than in charting the contours of academic inquiry that have allowed for both Mormon studies and Book of Mormon studies to thrive in the twenty-first...
History, Religious Studies, and Book of Mormon Studies
Patrick Mason holds the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. He is the author or editor of several books, most recently (co-authored with J. David Pulsipher) Proclaim Peace: The Restoration's Answer to an Age of Conflict (2021).
Patrick Q. Mason; History, Religious Studies, and Book of Mormon Studies. Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 1 July 2022; 31 35–55. doi: https://doi.org/10.14321/23744774.37.03
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