By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion [NOOK Book]

Overview

With over 100 million copies in print, the Book of Mormon has spawned a vast religious movement, but it remains little discussed outside Mormon circles. Now Terryl Givens offers a full-length treatment of this highly influential work, illuminating many facets of this uniquely American scripture.
Givens examines the Book of Mormon's role as a divine testament of the Last Days and as a sacred sign of Joseph Smith's status as a modern-day prophet. He assesses its claim to be a ...
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By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion

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Overview

With over 100 million copies in print, the Book of Mormon has spawned a vast religious movement, but it remains little discussed outside Mormon circles. Now Terryl Givens offers a full-length treatment of this highly influential work, illuminating many facets of this uniquely American scripture.
Givens examines the Book of Mormon's role as a divine testament of the Last Days and as a sacred sign of Joseph Smith's status as a modern-day prophet. He assesses its claim to be a history of the pre-Columbian peopling of the Western Hemisphere, first by a small Old World group in the era of Babel, and later by tribes from Jerusalem in the age of Jeremiah. Givens explores how the Book of Mormon has been defined as a cultural product, the imaginative ravings of a rustic religion-maker more inspired by the winds of culture than the breath of God. He also investigates its status as a new American Bible or Fifth Gospel, displacing, supporting, or--in some views--perverting the canonical Word of God. Givens also probes the Book's shifting relationship to Mormon doctrine and its changing reputation among theologians and scholars. Finally, in exploring what Martin Marty refers to as the Book of Mormon's "revelatory appeal," Givens highlights the Book's role as the engine behind what may become the next world religion.
The most wide-ranging study on the subject outside Mormon presses, By the Hand of Mormon will fascinate anyone curious about a religious people who, despite their numbers, remain very much strangers in our midst.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This outstanding book investigates the history and theology of the Book of Mormon, which Givens calls 'perhaps the most religiously influential, hotly contested, and, at least in the secular press, intellectually underinvestigated book in America.' Givens persuasively demonstrates how the Book of Mormon was trumpeted by early Latter-Day Saints more for the fact of its existence—which to them indicated an imminent apocalypse—than for its content per se. He notes that it was only during the late 20th century that Mormons began to regard the Book of Mormon as a cultural and spiritual 'keystone.' Givens's well-argued, engagingly written book takes the emerging field of Book of Mormon Studies to a new level."—Publishers Weekly

"Givens is fair-minded, sympathetic, and knows his Mormon history, as well as the history of visionaries.... Givens's surest ground is in folding Joseph Smith in with the religious mystics who claimed immediate and intimate knowledge of the supernatural. The importance of his book lies in its scholarly, unbiased, and disinterested examination of a sacred text."—Harpers

"A closely written, thoughtful (if polemical) book by a devoted scholar. It is certainly provocative reading, whether you happen to be a Mormon or not."—Benson Bobrick, New York Times Book Review

"By the Hand of Mormon, Terryl L. Givens's study of the Book of Mormon, is vastly informative, particularly to the general reader who seeks for insight into this extraordinary work. There are enigmatic splendors in the Book of Mormon, whether it was revealed to Joseph Smith or whether it emerged from his indubitable religious genius." —Harold Bloom, author of The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation

"This is an exceptional study. Terryl Givens has written an important work that increases our understanding of both the Book of Mormon and of Mormonism generally. He demonstrates how a single literary work gave rise to an enduring community, a theology, a religion, and a culture, and helps to explain not only the book's history but also the persisting success of Mormonism as an enduring belief system and worshipping community. By the Hand of Mormon is an achievement of real distinction." —Jan Shipps, author of Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons and Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199839551
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/14/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 657,558
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Terryl L. Givens is Professor of Religion and Literature at the University of Richmond. He is the author of The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy, which won the Chipman Award from the Mormon History Association.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    Very Important

    This is surely one of the most important books published in decades on the subject of the Book of Mormon, and among the most significant on Mormonism in general. It is extremely well written, judicious, fair, and insightful. I've recommended it to many people personally, and do so here without reservation.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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