Tag Archives: religion

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Faith, Science, and Understanding”


Faith, Science, and Understanding. By John Polkinghorne. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. This book is a collection of lectures and essays pieced together to explore the themes exemplified in the title. At sum, each essay considers the relationship … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844″


The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844. By John L. Brooke. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994). 421 pages, $35.00, hardcover. Now twenty years old, this work is still a stunningly significant book. It is a classic in Mormon … Continue reading

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The Assassination of Joseph Smith Jr.: Meanings and Interpretations


I was at a local party the other night and ended up in conversation with a professor who teaches early nineteenth century history about Joseph Smith Jr. and early Mormonism. Our conversation turned to Smith’s assassination at Carthage, Illinois, on … Continue reading

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The Conspiracy Motif in Early Mormonism


A persistent theme in American history is the belief in conspiracy, whether it is justified or not. Conspiracy ideas shape our modern society, casting doubt on many areas of public and private life. From the denial of the Moon landings … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History”


Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History. Brandon S. Plewe, Editor-in-Chief. Associate Editors: S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson. Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 2012. Foreword by Richard Lyman Bushman. Introduction, glossary, notes, color illustrations, bibliography, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “To Touch the Face of God: Religion and the American Space Program, 1957-1975″


To Touch the Face of God: Religion and the American Space Program, 1957-1975. By Kendrick Oliver. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. There is something ethereal in the enterprise of spaceflight. Oliver Kendrick’s To Touch the Face of God: The … Continue reading

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Dan Vogel on “Joseph Smith Brings the Plates Home”


My longtime friend and fellow Mormon history researcher Dan Vogel has produced a really interesting video on Joseph Smith and the acquisition of the plates from which he claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon. These were, according to … Continue reading

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Considering the Message of Jesus


Christian writers, intellectuals, theologians, and others are right about this one thing: the world remains fascinated by the story of Jesus of Nazareth more than 2,000 years after his death. Thousands of writers, tons of ink, and mountains of paper … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning”


Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning. By C. Mark Hamilton. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). X-vii + 203 pp. $65. This is a very poor work. C. Mark Hamilton, a professor of architectural history at Brigham Young University at … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism”


Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism. By Dan Vogel. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1988. Pp. xiii, 237. I recently reread Dan Vogel’s 1988 book, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism. I am more convinced than ever that … Continue reading

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