THE JOSEPH SMITH IN OUR HEADS
IS TOO SMALL
DATES: February 21 (Villa Park) and February 22 (La Canada – Flintridge).
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
We are pleased to have as our February 2014 Miller Eccles speaker, Professor Philip Barlow, head of the Mormon Studies Program at Utah State University, whose recently re-issued book, Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion, published by Oxford University Press, is considered a Mormon classic. Another timely presentation as we begin the study of the Bible in Gospel Doctrine class.
“The Joseph Smith in our heads is too small!” That is an astounding claim, given the international derision and devotion he has inspired among millions. Yet the scope, nature, and radicalism of his prophetic project is more vast and more radical than his followers or critics generally grasp. He was correct in more ways than he may have intended when he said, “No man knows my history.”
When Dr. Barlow published the first edition Mormons and the Bible two decades ago, he argued that scrutiny of Joseph’s complex relationship with the Bible held promise of illuminating crucial aspects of the mystery of the Mormon prophet. He still believes that, but in recent years he has come to judge Joseph’s intention and method as more expansive than formerly comprehended. Dr. Barlow will discuss several layers of Joseph’s interactions with the Bible that he has come to see differently than he formerly did.
There are many great reviews of Philip Barlow’s Mormons and the Bible, including these:
“One of the most interesting books I have read on Mormonism in recent years….This is a persuasive and well-written book that offers a fresh approach to understanding the saints within a larger context of American religion.”–American Historical Review
“An important seminal work, among the five or six most significant works examining Mormonism’s rich and varied past to appear over the course of the past 20 years. As such, it is highly recommended as essential reading for all students of Mormon studies and the American West generally.”– Journal of the West
Philip L. Barlow is Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. He earned a B. A. from Weber State College and an M.T.S. and Ph.D. (1988, with an emphasis on Religion and American Culture and on the History of Christianity) from Harvard University. At Utah State he has taught courses in Religious Studies, Mormonism, American religion, and explorations of religion in relation to suffering, time, silence, and film.
His books include The Oxford Handbook to Mormonism (co-edited with Terryl Givens, forthcoming, 2013), The New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (OUP 2000, co-authored with Edwin Scott Gaustad), Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America’s Common Denominator? (2004, co-edited with Mark Silk). A Thoughtful Faith (1986, editor). He is past president of the Mormon History Association.
Posted by Morris Thurston