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JIers in Print

2010 in Retrospect: A Glance at some of the Scholarly Books and Articles in Mormon History

By December 6, 2010


I love year-in-review lists. Building on last year’s post, this is a retrospective of 2010’s scholarly output in Mormon studies. I hope to add to the excellent posts by Jared (forthcoming) and J Stapley by listing not only books, but articles that also deserve attention. (As noted recently, historians should really reconsider our “journal standard,” and place more importance on scholarship other than monographs.) I also like this format because it allows reflections on general trends within Mormon studies and historiography in general.

I am bound to overlook some books and articles that others feel are significant. This is not on purpose–it is more a result of being 1) lazy 2) limited in my personal interests, or 3) ignorant of work while being stranded across the Atlantic Ocean. I hope people will mention and discuss the texts I overlook in the comments. There could also be another post dedicated to the excellent historical posts found in the bloggernacle over the last year–but that would be beyond the scopes of this retrospect.

[Note: Some of these works have a publication date of 2009. I include these for one of two reasons. 1) They were published after I posted last year’s retrospective (the perils of posting at the beginning of December). 2) Though they have a 2009 publication date, they actually didn’t appear until 2010.]

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Book Announcement: Stephen C. Taysom, Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds: Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries

By October 22, 2010


Stephen C. Taysom. Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds: Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. xvi + 263 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $34.95. Cloth.

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“A Uniformity So Complete”: Early Mormon Angelology

By July 15, 2010


[To continue my attempt to post something without much work on my part, what follows is the introduction to my recent article, just put online by the Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies. I post this also to encourage other graduate students to consider submitting to IMW Journal in the future; while it is a student-run production, it boasts an impressive academic review board with professional and respected scholars to help improve your submission; I received great feedback on my earlier drafts that significantly improved the article. To view the articles from the most recent issue, as well as to see submission guidelines,  click here.]

“An angel of God never has wings,” proclaimed Joseph Smith in 1839, just as the LDS Church was establishing itself in what would come to be known as Nauvoo, Illinois.

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New Article: “Salvation Through a Tabernacle: Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, and Early Mormon Theologies of Embodiment”

By June 8, 2010


[The following is the introduction to my recently published article in Dialogue. I post it here with three goals in mind: 1) To get any feedback/corrections/accusations on the article, as well as to provide discussion for anyone else who finds the topic as fascinating as I do. 2) To fulfill my guilt and anxiety to post something of substance here, but doing so without much work on my part. 3) To remind everyone what a great resource Dialogue is, and how awesome they are for strengthening their online presence. For those who haven’t done so yet, go to their website right now and subscribe and/or donate!]

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Book review: Mitch Horowitz. Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation. New York: Bantam Books, 2009.

By March 2, 2010


This review, in a slightly different format, will appear in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Mormon History. Grateful acknowledgment to Boyd Petersen, that publication’s book review editor, for permission to publish here is hereby pronounced.

Mitch Horowitz has written an often gleefully fascinating book.

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Book review: Reid L. Neilson and Terryl Givens, eds., Joseph Smith, Jr., Reappraisals after two centuries. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

By September 10, 2009


This review, originally appearing in a slightly different version in Mormon Historical Studies 10:1, is reprinted here with the kind permission of Alex Baugh and Jacob Olmstead, editor and book reviews editor, respectively.

It is a mark of the fascination that Joseph Smith inspires in students of religion and religious history (the present author not excepted) to the present day that, despite the plentitude of biographies, specialized studies, movies, hymns, visual art and all the rest that his life has evoked even only in the past sixty years, this volume is still welcome.

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Recent Comments

J Stuart on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “Thanks, Cassie, WVS, and Professor Mauss!”


Armand Mauss on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “Don't forget to check out the influence also of the LDS Genealogical Society, especially the work of its executive secretary James H. Anderson during the…”


wvs on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “Interesting stuff, J. All kinds of fun links to the Taylor-Galbraith efficiency movement and quack psyche.”


Cassie on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “The topic of Mormon elite interest in Eugenics is fascinating and requires additional unpacking to fully understand the reverberations of the pseudoscience on the church…”


Amanda on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “I mean...who controls which spirits go to which families? It's like we forgot everything that's been revealed about foreordination...that, just as there will be…”


RL on Eugenics and the Intellectual: “Great points Amanda. We often think Mormonism is unique in having to grapple with race or gender and belief, but we a Christian faith…”

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