Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon

ISBN : 9780190221928

Elizabeth Fenton; Jared Hickman
464 ページ
156 x 235 mm

As the sacred text of a modern religious movement of global reach, The Book of Mormon has undeniable historical significance. That significance, this volume shows, is inextricable from the intricacy of its literary form and the audacity of its historical vision. This landmark collection brings together a diverse range of scholars in American literary studies and related fields to definitively establish The Book of Mormon as an indispensable object of Americanist inquiry not least because it is, among other things, a form of Americanist inquiry in its own right-a creative, critical reading of "America." Drawing on formalist criticism, literary and cultural theory, book history, religious studies, and even anthropological field work, Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon captures as never before the full dimensions and resonances of this "American Bible."


Introduction: Learning to Read with The Book of Mormon, Jared Hickman and Elizabeth Fenton
Part One: Plates and Print
Chapter 1: Desiring the Plates, Richard Bushman
Chapter 2: The Ghost and the Machine: Plates and Paratext in The Book of Mormon, R. John Williams
Chapter 3: Books Buried in the Earth: The Book of Mormon, Revelation, and the Humic Foundations of the Nation, Jillian Sayre
Chapter 4: Orson Pratt's Enduring Influence on The Book of Mormon, Paul Gutjahr
Part Two: Scripture and Secularity
Chapter 5: The Book of Mormon and the Bible, Grant Hardy
Chapter 6: An American Book of Chronicles: Pseudo-Biblicism and the Cultural Origins of The Book of Mormon, Eran Shalev
Chapter 7: To Read the Sound of Eternity: Speech, Text, and Scripture in The Book of Mormon, Samuel Brown
Chapter 8: The writing of the fruit of thy loins: Reading, Writing, and Prophecy in The Book of Mormon, Laura Thiemann Scales
Chapter 9: Nephite Secularization
or, Picking and Choosing in The Book of Mormon, Grant Shreve
Part Three: Indigeneity and Imperialism
Chapter 10: Kinship, The Book of Mormon, and Modern Revelation, Nancy Bentley
Chapter 11: How the Mormons Became White: Scripture, Sex, Sovereignty, Peter Coviello
Chapter 12: Nephites and Israelites: The Book of Mormon and the Hebraic Indian Theory, Elizabeth Fenton
Chapter 13: Great Cause to Mourn: The Complexity of The Book of Mormon's Presentation of Gender and Race, Kimberly Berkey and Joseph Spencer
Chapter 14: We're going to take our land back over: Reading The Book of Mormon from an Indigenous Space, Stanley J. Thayne
Part Four: Genre and Generation
Chapter 15: The Book of Mormon and the Reshaping of Covenant, Terryl Givens
Chapter 16: Arise from the Dust, My Sons, and Be Men: Masculinity in The Book of Mormon, Amy Easton-Flake
Chapter 17: I Lead the Way, like Columbus: Joseph Smith, Genocide, and Revelatory Ambiguity, Zachary McLeod Hutchins
Chapter 18: Book of Mormon Poetry, Edward Whitley


Elizabeth Fenton is Associate Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She is the author of Religious Liberties: Anti-Catholicism and Liberal Democracy in Nineteenth-Century US Literature and Culture (Oxford, 2011). Jared Hickman is Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Black Prometheus: Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic Slavery (Oxford, 2016) and co-editor (with Martha Schoolman) of Abolitionist Places (Routledge, 2016).