The fall issue of Dialogue is printed. The following is a brief review of this issue’s scholarly articles:
40. H. Wayne Schow, “A Case for Same-Sex Marriage: Reply to Randolph Muhlestein”
With these two articles we have something that is very good for Dialogue and its readers. The authors approach the highly politicized topic from polar positions and with polar approaches. Muhlestein assembled and cataloged the conservative arguments while Schow responds viscerally. A T&S discussion on the articles only garnished 18 comments, perhaps as a sign that the those who have at other times endlessly debated the issue are content to let it rest.
68. John Matzko, “The Encounter of the Young Joseph Smith with Presbyterianism”
In a time when most Americans can’t discern between Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal or Baptist, it is hard to understand what it was that sparked Joseph’s intense feelings on the religions of his day. Matko does a nice job in reviewing Joseph’s intersection with the Presbyterian movement and what that actually means. I picked up a new connection relating to the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and he wrapped up the article with what I believe is one of the most important themes of the early restoration: the iconoclasm against Calvinism.
85. Clayton M. White and Mark D. Thomas, “On Balancing Faith in Mormonism with Traditional Biblical Stories: The Noachian Flood Story” (available for free at the Dialogue website)
This was a fascinating paper; though I am more intrigued by the history of the paper than the content. Apparently this paper, written by BYU professors, was submitted to BYU Studies and after years of review was accepted only to be later rejected. When considering the content of the paper (an introduction to the flood narrative, an outline of the scientific impossibility of a world-wide flood, and a brief look at the ramifications of such a position on the Church) one can imagine why it might have been controversial.
Really, scientifically, it is a fairly light work. The science considered in the study is mostly biological in nature, which is compelling, but represents only part of the evidence. Actually, I wish this paper were published in BYU Studies, but I am happy that it was published at all. I understand that this article might be the focus of some discussion at a future Mormon Studies gathering.
112. David J. Howlett, “The Death and Resurrection of the RLDS Zion: A Case Study in Failed Prophecy, 1930 to 1970″
Dave blogged with us for a little bit this summer (here, here and here) and is found wielding some of his Religious Studies skillz in an analysis of some restorationist history with which most of us are completely unfamiliar. The RLDS church in the late-early 1900’s engaged in a syncretic program of establishing communal living projects under the banner of Zion. Not dissimilar from most communal projects, they failed quite readily and Howlett looks at how the community of faithful reacts.
134. Henri Gooren, “Latter-day Saints under Siege: The Unique Experience of Nicaraguan Mormons” (available for free at the Dialogue website)
Great demographic data. A brief yet solid history of the Church in Nicaragua. Enough said. T&S hosted a discussion tangential to the article.
Marshall Hamilton reviews Richard Bushman’s On the Road with Joseph Smith.
Jeffrey Needle reviews Rodney Stark and Reid Neilson’s The Rise of Mormonism