An Experiment on the Word

Reading Alma 32

Adam S. Miller

• What does Alma 32 teach us about exercising faith?
• What does Alma mean by “the word,” and why is it so central to faith?
• How can the textual, historical, and political contexts of Alma 32 shape our understanding of Alma’s teachings?

This book is based on a novel idea: that Mormons do theology. “Doing theology” is different from weighing history, deciding doctrine, or inspiring devotion, though it sometimes overlaps with those things. Theology speculates. It experiments with questions, tests new angles, and pulls loose threads. It reads familiar texts in careful and creative new ways. In this collection of essays, six scholars theologically examine Alma chapter 32 in the Book of Mormon, which contains some of the most insightful verses about faith in the entire Latter-day Saint canon. Not only do these scholars shed new light on Alma 32, they also provide exemplary models for improved scripture study more generally.

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About the Editor

Adam S. Miller

Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He earned a BA in comparative literature from Brigham Young University and an MA and PhD in philosophy from Villanova University. He is the author of nine books, including Speculative Grace, The Gospel according to David Foster Wallace, Letters to a Young Mormon, and An Early Resurrection. He also directs the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar.

Table of Contents

  • Series Introduction
  • An Experiment on the Word: Introduction
  • Summary Report
  • Desiring to Believe: Wisdom and Political Power
  • You Must Needs Say that the Word is Good
  • It Is Well that Ye are Cast Out: Alma 32 and Eden
  • Faith, Hope, and Charity: Alma and Joseph Smith
  • So Shall My Word Be: Reading Alma 32 through Isaiah 55
  • Faith and Commodification
  • Bibliography
  • Contributors
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Publication Information

  • Publication Date: July 2014
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2870-2
  • Page Count: 110
  • Illustration(s): 0
  • Binding: paperback, epub, html
  • Price: $ 18.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)