Dave's Reviews > By The Hand Of Mormon: The American Scripture That Launched A New World Religion

By The Hand Of Mormon by Terryl L. Givens
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's review
Nov 08, 09

bookshelves: read-in-2009, religion
Read in November, 2009

This is an impressive accomplishment. Maybe I'm just sensitive to sound rhetorical moves because I try to teach them to my students every week, but Givens lays down a beating to cultural Mormonism's attempts to demystify the Book of Mormon. And he does it so lightheartedly! "No hard feelings Dan Vogel, but allow to most respectfully eviscerate your bubble of smug intellectualism" [my words, not his:]. The great thing, though, is that that isn't even the point of Givens' book. He looks carefully at the history surrounding the Book of Mormon, proves himself an avid and careful researcher, and offers ideas so cogent and natural that you smack yourself and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" He presents a very open and vast picture of the Book of Mormon. I suppose he could be faulted with simply neutralizing others' arguments without making a strong case of his own (besides the chapter on the Book of Mormon as the modern teacher of dialogic revelation), but sometimes that's the most honest move you can make.
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