The Christ who heals. (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2018

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Do Latter-day Saints worship the same Christ as other Christians? The answer is not a simple one. Mormonism is so rich in doctrine, so expansive in its teachings, that we may be too easily distracted from this one cardinal proposition: The Restoration recovered that Christ who is the most remarkable being in the history of religious thought. The Restoration radically reshapes our understanding of his character and role as it emerged in preexistent councils, where he positioned himself to be our spiritual Father and to reunite us with our Heavenly Family, committing himself with unparalleled devotion to the project of our return. The Restoration reclaims Christ’s Atonement as an act of healing. It reconstitutes us as whole beings by transmuting the damage and pain endured in life’s educative crucible into sanctifying suffering that expands our capacity to receive and give love. Then Jesus invites us to share in his work of healing and saving. The Restoration also reconstructs judgment and salvation: the first as a process of self-understanding and self-revelation that is merciful and formative, the second as an eternal process by which an infinitely devoted Healer will work tirelessly to draw us ever onward into eternal realms of belonging.

 


Feeding the flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis. New York: Oxford University Press, July 2017.

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Feeding the Flock, the second volume of Terryl L. Givens's landmark study of the foundations of Mormon thought and practice, traces the essential contours of Mormon practice as it developed from Joseph Smith to the present. Despite the stigmatizing fascination with its social innovations (polygamy, communalism), its stark supernaturalism (angels, gold plates, and seer stones), and its most esoteric aspects (a New World Garden of Eden, sacred undergarments), as well as its long-standing outlier status among American Protestants, Givens reminds us that Mormonism remains the most enduring-and thriving-product of the nineteenth-century's religious upheavals and innovations.  Because Mormonism is founded on a radically unconventional cosmology, based on unusual doctrines of human nature, deity, and soteriology, a history of its development cannot use conventional theological categories. Givens has structured these volumes in a way that recognizes the implicit logic of Mormon thought. The first book, Wrestling the Angel, centered on the theoretical foundations of Mormon thought and doctrine regarding God, humans, and salvation. Feeding the Flock considers Mormon practice, the authority of the institution of the church and its priesthood, forms of worship, and the function and nature of spiritual gifts in the church's history, revealing that Mormonism is still a tradition very much in the process of formation. At once original and provocative, engaging and learned, Givens offers the most sustained account of Mormon thought and practice yet written

“It is hard to know if Terryl L. Givens is best described as a historian, theologian, philosopher, sociologist, or literary critic. He also is a master stylist who knows how to render abstract ideas in language meaningful to specialists and ordinary readers alike. Feeding the Flock is a distinguished contribution to the major body of studies of America’s largest home-grown religious tradition.”
— Grant Wacker, author of America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation
“The systematic account of the history, teaching, and authoritative sources of Mormonism is a story worth telling, and the author tells it with controlled passion and scholarly command.”
— D. N. Robinson, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford
“Givens is to be commended not only for producing the first major systematic overview of Mormon theology, but also for taking a historically informed, comparative approach that both Latter-day Saints and scholars of religion will find highly illuminating.”
— Ann Taves, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism (edited with Phil Barlow). New York: Oxford University Press, October 2015

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Scholarly interest in Mormon theology, history, texts, and practices-what makes up the field now known as Mormon studies-has reached unprecedented levels, making it one of the fastest-growing subfields in religious studies. In this volume, Terryl Givens and Philip Barlow, two leading scholars of Mormonism, have brought together 45 of the top experts in the field to construct a collection of essays that offers a comprehensive overview of scholarship on Mormons. The book begins with a section on Mormon history, perhaps the most well-developed area of Mormon studies. Chapters in this section deal with questions ranging from how Mormon history is studied in the university to the role women have played over time. Other sections examine revelation and scripture, church structure and practice, theology, society, and culture. The final two sections look at Mormonism in a larger context. The authors examine Mormon expansion across the globe-focusing on Mormonism in Latin America, the Pacific, Europe, and Asia-in addition to the interaction between Mormonism and other social systems, such as law, politics, and other faiths.

This volume is cause for genuine rejoicing. There is no more efficient and authoritative guide to things Mormon. Designed for a readership of non-Mormons as well as Mormons, the Handbook is a striking step toward the more complete integration of the study of Mormonism into the study of American history, politics, society, and culture.”
— Mormon Studies Review
“An exceptionally complete overview of scholarship on Mormonism Treating a wide range of important topics, this is a valuable resource on Mormonism.”
— CHOICE

The Columbia Sourcebook of Mormons in the United States (edited with Reid Neilson). New York: Columbia University Press, July 2015

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This anthology offers rare access to key original documents illuminating Mormon history, theology, and culture in the United States from the nineteenth century to today. Brief introductions describe the theological significance of each text and its reflection of the practices, issues, and challenges that have defined and continue to define the Mormon community. These documents balance mainstream and peripheral thought and religious experience, institutional and personal perspective, and theoretical and practical interpretation, representing pivotal moments in LDS history and correcting decades of misinformation and stereotype. The authors of these documents, male and female, not only celebrate but speak critically and question mainline LDS teachings on sexuality, politics, gender, race, polygamy, and other issues. Selections largely focus on the Salt Lake–based LDS tradition, with a section on the post–Joseph Smith splintering and its creation of a variety of similar yet different Mormon groups. The documents are arranged chronologically within specific categories to capture both the historical and doctrinal development of Mormonism in the United States.

This collection of documents, edited by two of the ablest and most prolific of Mormon historians, provides the most comprehensive sourcebook available.... It’s a treasure.
— Grant Wacker, The Christian Century
The carefully curated source material and the expertly crafted annotations will allow the many courses for which this volume will serve as the primary anthology to explore what it has historically meant to be a Mormon.
— Mormon Studies Review
Students of Mormon history would do well to examine the faith and its history through these revealing sources, and I hope the book finds its way into numerous syllabi.
— Journal of Mormon History

Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity. New York: Oxford University Press, November 2014

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In this first volume of his study of the foundations of Mormon thought and practice, Terryl L. Givens offers a sweeping account of Mormon belief from its founding to the present day. Situating the relatively new movement in the context of the Christian tradition, he reveals that Mormonism continues to change and grow. Givens shows that despite Mormonism's origins in a biblical culture strongly influenced by nineteenth-century Restorationist thought, which advocated a return to the Christianity of the early Church, the new movement diverges radically from the Christianity of the creeds. Mormonism proposes its own cosmology and metaphysics, in which human identity is rooted in a premortal world as eternal as God. Mormons view mortal life as an enlightening ascent rather than a catastrophic fall, and reject traditional Christian concepts of human depravity and destiny. Popular fascination with Mormonism's social innovations, such as polygamy and communalism, and its supernatural and esoteric elements-angels, gold plates, seer stones, a New World Garden of Eden, and sacred undergarments-have long overshadowed the fact that it is the most enduring and even thriving product of the nineteenth century's religious upheavals and innovations.

Breathtakingly comprehensive, full of historical finesse, and beautifully expressed. It could have been titled Dancing with the Angels.”
— Stephen Webb, co-author of Catholic and Mormon: A Theological Conversation
Givens has given us a hugely impressive, erudite and systematic work. He shows us the vast and complex landscape of this most extraordinary and most American of religions. Through this monumental work we experience the sheer scale and audacity of Mormon cosmology and theology and how this transforms our understanding of divine nature and human nature alike.
— Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor, The New School for Social Research
“Terryl Givens is an unusually creative and eloquent exponent of the Mormon thought he outlines in Wrestling the Angel.”
— John Turner, author of The Mormon Jesus: A Biography
“Givens’s account is utterly fascinating in itself, and certainly deserving of further interdisciplinary engagement.”
— Michelle Sanchez, Harvard Divinity School

The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections On the Quest for Faith (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2014.

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In writing about the nature of Faith, Augustine said that sometimes, our understanding cannot resolve a choice between alternatives, "because of an apparent equality of the motives for both sides. This is the state of one in doubt." In such a circumstance, where knowledge is insufficient to impel us toward belief or non-belief, "our understanding is determined by the will, which chooses to assent to one side definitely and precisely because of something which is enough to move the will, though not enough to move the understanding." Faith, in other words, is ultimately a choice. But the possibility of faith is influenced by the assumptions and paradigms that may constrain and shape one’s religious quest. As Daniel Dennett writes, "philosophy… is what you have to do until you figure out what questions you should have been asking in the first place." Genuine questions, to use Gadamer’s expression, entail risk, put our prejudices into play, and expose us to unknown consequences. This book invites us to approach our spiritual journey, by embracing that risk, and by reconsidering the value of doubt as a catalyst rather than an obstacle to faith.


The God Who Weeps: How Mormons Make Sense of Life (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Ensign Peak, 2012.

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Whatever sense we make of this world, whatever value we place upon our lives and relationships, whatever meaning we ultimately give to our joys and agonies, must necessarily be a gesture of faith. Like the poet John Keats, we are all "straining at particles of light in the midst of a great darkness." In this personal account, the authors survey five fundamentals about the universe that our place in it inherent in the LDS faith tradition. Woven together into a coherent tapestry, they constitute a holistic narrative that challenges conventional Christian theologies, addressing the questions where we came from, why we are here, and what might await us in the "undiscovered country." 1. God is a personal entity, having a heart that beats in sympathy with human hearts, feeling our joy and sorrowing over our pain. 2. Humans lived as spirit beings in the presence of God before we were born into this mortal life. 3. Mortality is an ascent, not a fall, and we carry infinite potential into a world of sin and sorrow. 4. God has the desire and the power to unite and elevate the entire human family in a kingdom of heaven. 5. That Heaven will consist of those relationships that matter most to us in the here and now.


Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism (with Matthew J. Grow). New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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Best Book of 2011, Mormon History Association
Best Biography of 2011, Association of Mormon Letters

After Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt is perhaps the most influential figure in shaping early Mormonism. That influence was felt across an astounding spectrum: Pratt excelled as a missionary, hymnist, satirist, autobiographer, historian, and theologian. Long well-known among Mormons due to his perennially published and highly readable autobiography, Pratt has never received the scholarly biography that has long been overdue. His autobiography is a highly selective, posthumous publication, neglects significant engagement with his intellectual and artistic contributions, and provides negligible cultural context. This biography hopes to redress those deficiencies, and assess the role of Pratt in both organizing and extending Joseph Smith’s foundational theology.

The authors have done a remarkable job in presenting the story of this unique and essential character.
— Publishers Weekly
“For anyone seeking to understand the development of early Mormonism, Parley P. Pratt is essential reading. As the foremost systematizer, theologian, missionary, and popularizer of this new religious movement in its first two decades, not to mention a colorful and mobile personality, Parley Pratt represented the soul of the tradition. Givens and Grow provide an engaging, thoughtful, and thorough assessment of his significance in the foundations of the Mormon faith.”
— Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Parley Pratt played the Apostle Paul to the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith. This book opens to a wide audience for the first time the life of one of the most significant figures in American religious history.”
— Mark Noll, author of Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction
“The authors’ fascinating narratives of Pratt’s worldwide adventures, multiple marriages, and eventual murder will make this book welcome not only in the academic community but among all those with an interest in early Mormon history.”
— Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
Givens and Grow should be commended for their scholarship and objectivity in providing historians and religion scholars with a remarkable narrative that explores in breadth and depth, through the life of Parley Parker Pratt, the historical and religious underpinnings of early Mormonism.
— Journal of the American Academy of Religion
A comprehensive scholarly biography that does justice to the stature of its subject...deserves a place among the finest Latter-day Saint biographies.
— BYU Studies

When Souls had Wings: The Idea of Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

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The book traces the history of the idea of pre-existence, investigating the cultural work the paradigm has performed through the centuries. Givens describes how pre-existence has been invoked to explain "the better angels of our nature," and to account for why we know what we should not know, whether in the form of a Greek slave's grasp of mathematics, the moral sense common to humanity, or the human ability to recognize universals. The belief has explained human bonds that seem to have their own mysterious prehistory, salved the wounded sensibility of a host of thinkers who could not otherwise account for the unevenly distributed pain and suffering that are humanity's common lot, and has been posited by philosophers and theologians alike to salvage the principle of human freedom and accountability.

This stimulating and ambitious book arcs across the intellectual and religious heavens from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary studies of consciousness and memory boundaries. It demonstrates vividly why and how the troubling notion (for westerners) of pre-existence has in fact continually helped to shape our theories of soul and of identity, often in surprising ways. This is the history of a mutating idea at its best.

— Michael J. B. Allen, Distinguished Research Professor, UCLA
The deeper we venture into Christian history, the more struck we must be at the many different positions that believers have held over time, and how radically these differed from what became the Christian mainstream. Terryl Givens ranges far and wide both within Christianity and outside to show just how very persistent in Western thought has been the notion that our souls existed long before we were born, with all the implications of that belief. His provocative book is rich and often startling.

— Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University
This is a fascinating, learned and engagingly-written account of an ancient idea—best known from Plato’s Timaeus—that has stubbornly reappeared in thinkers as diverse as Origen, Jakob Boehme, Henry More, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Nicholas Berdyaev. Givens convincingly shows that the idea has persisted because of its power as a theodicy—reconciling the justice of God with a world of pain. Historians and theologians will benefit from Givens’ persuasive account of why Christian orthodoxy, after Augustine’s early vacillation, finally rejected pre-existence: it threatened to shatter the divide between creator and creature, and appeared to diminish the greatness of divine grace by suggesting human potential more than fallenness.

— Gerald R. McDermott, author of The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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Givens examines the Book of Mormon in terms of the claims that its narrators make for its historical genesis, its purpose as a sacred text, and its meaning for an audience which shifts over the course of the history it unfolds. The author traces five governing themes in particular-revelation, Christ, Zion, scripture, and family-and analyzes the Book's central doctrines and teachings. Givens also provides samples of a cast of characters that number in the hundreds, and analyzes representative passages from a work that encompasses tragedy, poetry, sermons, visions, family histories and military chronicles. Finally, this introduction surveys the contested origins and production of a work held by millions to be scripture, and reviews the scholarly debates that address questions of the record's historicity.

Taking the Book of Mormon on its own terms, Terryl Givens offers a complex, reverent analysis of a powerful epic history.

— Daniel Walker Howe
For all who need to have an accurate account of what Mormons believe-and they are a faith community that now spans the globe-familiarity with the message of the Book of Mormon is the basic starting point. And there is no better guide to that text than Terryl Givens, a marvelous scholar who has now given us this highly readable and insightful introduction.

— Richard J. Mouw
If you have the slightest interest in the Book of Mormon for any reason you should read this book. Those unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon will find an excellent supplement here. If you are already familiar with the Book of Mormon, this re-introduction will make it seem like you’re meeting again for the first time.

— Association of Mormon Letters

Joseph Smith Jr.: Reappraisals After Two Centuries. (co-edited with Reid Neilson). New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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In this volume, fifteen scholars offer essays on how to interpret and understand Smith and his legacy. Including essays by both Mormons and non-Mormons, this wide-ranging collection is the premier survey of contemporary scholarly opinion on the extraordinary man who started one of the fastest growing religious traditions in the modern world.


People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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Winner of the MHA Best Book Award.

This book is an exploration of the Mormon cultural identity that Joseph Smith and, to a lesser extent, Brigham Young founded. At the heart of their thinking were a number of dynamic tensions—or paradoxes—that give Mormon cultural expression much of its vitality. Arguing that culture can be viewed as the result of a people’s efforts to accommodate such irresolvable tensions, Givens looks at the Mormon "habit of mind," and forms of artistic expression to trace consistent themes and ideas that constitute -or contribute to the formation-of a distinct cultural community.

People of Paradox confirms Terryl Givens’s status, if it was ever in question, as the leading mid-career scholar of Mormonism. People of Paradox will likely, for a generation or more, be the statement on Mormon culture with which scholars must wrestle. This well-researched cultural history succeeds brilliantly in what it sets out to do—synthetically identify and explain fundamental issues and trends within Mormon culture. It is even more exceptional as cultural criticism. No summary can adequately convey the elegance of Givens’s prose or the subtlety and profundity of his insights. The book is a superb historical introduction and agenda-setting conceptualization of Mormon culture.
— Western Historical Quarterly
With his fourth book on Mormonism, Givens (By the Hand of Mormon; Viper on the Hearth) earns his place as one of the great LDS scholars of his time. Students of religion, history and culture will find this an authoritative analysis of four fascinating and powerful tensions at the core of Mormonism that feed into its cultural life: authority and radical freedom; searching and certainty; the sacred and the banal; and election versus exile. Sprinkled with photos and illustrations, with topics ranging from the “art missionaries” of Utah who studied in Paris at the turn of the century, to the Mormon dominance in science fiction, this scholarly tome actually lives up to its ambitious subtitle. He convincingly concludes that Joseph Smith has provided Mormonism “with sufficient paradoxes to generate vigorous artistic and intellectual expression for another 200 years.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Givens’s proposal that Mormon belief be conceived as a series of paradoxes rather than a set of fixed principles is one of the most significant advances in Mormon thought in a generation. It puts Mormon culture in a brilliant new light. Moreover, by displacing the standard themes from their usual position at center stage and exploring Mormon cultural expression instead, he gives us a fresh, new history of the Latter-day Saints. This book is filled with treasures.
— Richard Bushman
An outstanding work of intellectual and cultural studies, People of Paradox represents a creative and singular contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on the Mormon tradition.
— Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp
Terryl Givens takes readers on a fascinating tour of the remarkable achievements of Mormon culture; its distinctive contributions to art, literature, music, theater, science, and to the life of the mind. Eventually, one realizes that this is not only a book about Mormon culture, but that it makes a substantial contribution to that culture.
— Rodney Stark, author of The Rise of Mormonism
This is an impressive work of synthesis that engages a broad secondary literature in discussing each aspect of the Mormon intellectual and artistic heritage. While other scholars have produced excellent studies treating Mormon literature or music or visual arts, Givens is the first to offer a comprehensive survey of key aspects of Latter-day Saint cultural life across the full span of Mormon history. ...The breadth of its coverage, the insightfulness of many of its observations, and the effective use it makes of paradox to provide a richly textured portrait of Mormon intellectual and artistic life make it a solid contribution to the growing field of Mormon studies. It deserves to be widely read and discussed, and its superior literary style insures that enjoyment as well as insight will repay its readers.
— American Historical Review
Givens has accomplished something quite special with this masterful study of Mormon cultural expression: in deriving his discussion of Mormon culture from details of Mormon theology, he suggests a union of the practical and theoretical elements of religious life with a sincerity and seamlessness rarely achieved in academic study.
— Choice

The Latter-day Saint Experience in America. Westport: Greenwood, 2004.

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An overview of Mormon history, doctrine, organization, worship, and culture. Part of a series of Religions in America, it is intended by the publisher to "serve as a quick reference for someone looking up facts or as an easily accessible resource for those needing a basic introduction to the religion(s), as practiced in the United States .

A most sophisticated, yet accessible and comprehensive, single-volume treatment of LDS ideology and practice. Well written and very readable, the book is characterized by a strong narrative style and punctuated by lively statements from devoted practitioners and exasperated onlookers. The book wrestles extraordinarily well with the range and depth of Mormonism’s social and doctrinal complexity. What cannot be found elsewhere is this book’s genuine insight into and almost encyclopedic coverage of LDS belief and practice
— Journal of Religion
This is an impressive work....[a] fine volume when read by anyone wanting a comprehensive and sometimes-critical look at the Mormon Restoration movement. It deserves a wide readership.

— Association for Mormon Letters

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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A wide-ranging examination of this American Scripture’s shifting reputation among theologians, scholars, and Latter-day Saints. Chapters address the Book of Mormon's claims to be a history of the pre-Columbian peopling of America, its function as a sacred sign of Joseph Smith’s prophetic status, its interpretation as a mélange of 19th century influences, and its role as the engine behind the growth of what may become the next world religion.

It is certainly a closely written, thoughtful . . . book by a devoted scholar.... Provocative reading, whether you happen to be a Mormon or not.
— New York Times Book Review
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
Outstanding, well-argued, engagingly written . . . admirably dispassionate.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Givens’ treatment of the history of scholarship on the Book of Mormon is simply the best, most judicious and engaging survey available. His handling of all of the evidence surrounding the original discovery and translation of the plates is as clear, judicious, and balanced as one could wish. Above all, this study makes the early acceptance of the Book of Mormon in the popular imagination plausible.
— Books and Culture/Christianity Today
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
Vastly informative, particularly to the general reader who seeks for insight into this extraordinary work.
— Harold Bloom
Until now, the Book of Mormon has not been on anyone’s list of canonical literary works, but it may be added soon as Mormonism assumes the dimensions of a budding world religion. Thus far no one has been able to situate this much-contested work in our intellectual history. Givens does, and offers a striking appraisal of just what the Book of Mormon means to our culture.
— Richard Lyman Bushman

Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

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Focusing on nineteenth-century representations of Mormonism in popular culture, this book examines that faith's vexed relationship to mainstream religion, explores the nature of Mormon "heresy," and asks how such a category can operate in a pluralistic society.

A well-researched and insightful book…He illuminates the phenomena of religious heresy and persecution generally. The book is thoroughly documented, and Givens writes with a graceful style. This is an excellent example of both historical and literary scholarship.
— American Historical Review
Provocative insights into American culture, LDS identity, nineteenth-century literature, rhetorics of oppression, and religious formation. The narrative is short, subtle, and crisp; Givens rarely wastes a sentence. A work to be read with patience and care. I highly recommend this book.
— Religious Studies Review
The book is sophisticated, long on analysis…. He has read widely in the vast secondary literature… and produced a study worthy of its prestigious publisher.
— Church History
Widely researched, theoretically informed, and gracefully written, this work is a model of significant interdisciplinary study.
— Western American Literature
It could influence American religion studies the same way Bauer’s Orthodoxy and Heresy challenged and changed perceptions. Intelligently conceived,… skillful textual analysis, ... exemplary scholarship…. It illuminates dilemmas and paradoxes central to American religion and culture generally.
— Journal of Mormon History
A subtlety and sophistication that will delight and enlighten readers. The most detailed and sophisticated study to date of patterns of representation in 19th c anti-Mormonism.
— BYU Studies
A powerful and compelling thesis…. A great reading experience in thoughtful and independently conceived religious and cultural thinking rare in Mormon studies. Chapter five should become a classic in Mormon Studies.
— Journal of American Ethnic History
Well-researched and illuminating study…. Gives us a fresh understanding of the process of myth-making…. Locates it arguments in a carefully constructed historical context.
— Journal of the Early Republic
An impressive achievement.
— Wayne Booth
A remarkably lucid and useful study…. It provides also a valuable paradigm for the study of all religious ‘heresy’
— Harold Bloom