Coming in 2020—‘The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions’

09.08.2019 | Spencer Fluhman

Just in time for the Church’s 2020 Sunday school curriculum focused on the Book of Mormon, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship is delighted to announce The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions. Twelve volumes—one for each book in the Book of Mormon (with a few books combined and one divided into two volumes)—written by twelve different Latter-day Saint scholars, each of whom bring their personal and institutional faith commitments to bear on the scripture from a wide range of academic disciplines. (See the full list of contributors below.)

As our namesake Elder Neal A. Maxwell emphasized, the richness of the Book of Mormon is such that no single author, no single approach, could possibly be sufficient:

There is so much more in the Book of Mormon than we have yet discovered. The book’s divine architecture and rich furnishings will increasingly unfold to our view, further qualifying it as ‘a marvelous work and a wonder’ (Isaiah 29:14) …. All the rooms in this mansion need to be explored, whether by valued traditional scholars or by those at the cutting edge. Each plays a role, and one LDS scholar cannot say to the other, ‘I have no need of thee’ (1 Corinthians 12:21).”

The series focuses particularly on theology—the scholarly practice of exploring what a scriptural text says about God’s work in the world today. Each author’s unique approach will offer fresh insights and invite readers to engage scripture in her or his own way, all while seeking Jesus Christ on every page. Volumes will release in order throughout 2020, with the first volume slated for release just before the holidays in 2019.

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to pick up a copy of the Maxwell Institute Study Edition of the Book of Mormon, published last December by the Maxwell Institute in partnership with the Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book. It features the striking woodcut illuminations of Brian Kershisnik, who is also busy preparing several new pieces for these Brief Theological Introductions.

To introduce the series, we’ve scheduled three “Exploring the Book of Mormon” events where readers can get a sneak preview and provide direct feedback to our authors. By design, our in-person audiences will be comparatively small (watch our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for invitations), but those who can’t attend in person can join us live online on our YouTube channel. Subscribe there for free to receive alerts.

More details are forthcoming, but mark these dates now:

Sunday, September 22 at BYU

Friday, October 18 at BYU

Sunday, October 27 in Cambridge, MA

Series authors Joseph Spencer, Terryl Givens, and Mark Wrathall participated in our first author-meets-audience event in July—watch the rebroadcast here.

The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions series seeks Christ in scripture by combining intellectual rigor and the disciple’s yearning for holiness.

General Editors

Spencer Fluhman, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Philip Barlow, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Series Editors

D. Morgan Davis, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
James E. Faulconer, Brigham Young University
Kristine Haglund, Independent scholar
Joseph M. Spencer, Brigham Young University
Rosalynde Welch, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Authors

1 Nephi: Joseph M. Spencer, Brigham Young University
2 Nephi: Terryl L. Givens, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Jacob: Deidre Nicole Green, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Enos/Jarom/Omni: Sharon J. Harris, Brigham Young University
Mosiah: James E. Faulconer, Brigham Young University
Alma (1-29): Kylie Turley, Brigham Young University
Alma (30-63): Mark Wrathall, University of Oxford
Helaman: Kimberly Berkey, Loyola University Chicago
3 Nephi/4 Nephi: Daniel Becerra, Brigham Young University
Words of Mormon/Mormon: Adam S. Miller, Collin College
Ether: Rosalynde Frandsen Welch, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Moroni: David F. Holland, Harvard Divinity School

Series info and updates available at mi.byu.edu/brief.