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The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy
     

The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy

by Mark Alan Wright
 
Nephite apostates turned away from true worship in consistent and predictable ways throughout the Book of Mormon. Their beliefs and practices may have been the result of influence from the larger socioreligious context in which the Nephites lived. A Mesoamerican setting provides a plausible cultural background that explains why Nephite apostasy took the particular

Overview

Nephite apostates turned away from true worship in consistent and predictable ways throughout the Book of Mormon. Their beliefs and practices may have been the result of influence from the larger socioreligious context in which the Nephites lived. A Mesoamerican setting provides a plausible cultural background that explains why Nephite apostasy took the particular form it did and may help us gain a deeper understanding of some specific references that Nephite prophets used when combating that apostasy. We propose that apostate Nephite religion resulted from the syncretization of certain beliefs and practices from normative Nephite religion with those attested in ancient Mesoamerica. We suggest that orthodox Nephite expectations of the "heavenly king" were supplanted by the more present and tangible "divine king."

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014857420
Publisher:
Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Publication date:
08/10/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
30
File size:
148 KB

Meet the Author

Mark Alan Wright earned his BA in Anthropology at the University of California at Los Angelesand his MA and PhD in Anthropology (with a subfield of specialization in Mesoamerican Archaeology) from the University of California at Riverside. His dissertation is entitled “A Study of Classic Maya Rulership.” He regularly conducts research in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. Dr. Wright is Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University.

Brant A. Gardner received a master’s degree in anthropology from the State University of New York, Albany, specializing in Mesoamerican ethnohistory. He is the author of Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon (2007) and The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon (2011), both published by Greg Kofford Books.

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