The Doors of Faith

What is it that the restored Church of Jesus Christ offers to the world that no other church can—and how might recognizing those contributions help us stay strong in our faith? The poet Thomas Traherne said: “No man . . . that clearly seeth the beauty of God’s face, . . . can, when he sees it clearly, willingly and wittingly forsake it.” In The Doors of Faith, Terryl Givens teaches that the surest route to a meaningful and enduring faith is a “witting” understanding of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Givens bears a strong personal witness of many unique aspects of the restored gospel, demonstrating that the Restoration provides us with the most morally compelling, intellectually satisfying, and aesthetically appealing account of the universe and each person’s place within it. He shows that such knowledge is a powerful catalyst to a more profound appreciation of Jesus Christ’s love, grace, and Atonement.

About the Author

Terryl Givens

For many years, Terryl Givens was the Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English at the University of Richmond. Now a senior research fellow at Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Givens is the author of several books on the Latter-day Saint tradition, including Wrestling the Angel, By the Hand of Mormon, and The Pearl of Greatest Price. With his wife, Fiona, he coauthored The Crucible of Doubt, The God Who Weeps, and The Christ Who Heals.  

EDUCATION

Ph.D. (1988) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Comparative Literature     Sage Fellow Graduate Work (1983) Cornell, Intellectual History     B.A. (1981) Brigham Young University, Comparative Literature      

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS

2022 Stretching the Heavens, “Evans Best Biography Award”     2016 Visiting Fellowship, Harris Manchester College, Oxford   2016 Oxford HB to Mormonism, “Best Anthology Award,” John Whitmer Historical Association   2012 Parley P. Pratt, “Best Book Award,” Mormon History Association   2012 Pratt, “Best Biography Award,” Association of Mormon Letters   2012 Pratt, “Best Biography Award,” John Whitmer Historical Assoc.   2009 “Lifetime membership award, Association of Mormon Letters   2008 People of Paradox “Best Book Award,” Mormon History Assoc.   2008 Paradox, “Best Book in Criticism,” Association of Mormon Letters   2003 Outstanding Faculty Award Top 20 Finalist, Virginia State Council of Higher Education    2002 Brigham Young University College of Humanities Alumnus of the Year   1998 Viper on the Hearth, Chipman Award for Best First Book   1997 University of Richmond “Distinguished Educator” Award    

BOOKS

Into the Headwinds: Why Faith Has Always Been Hard, with Nathaniel Givens. Grand  Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2022.     Faith and Intellect. Salt Lake City: Deseret, 2022.     Yet to Be Revealed: Open Questions in Latter-day Saint Theology, ed. with Eric Eliason.  Provo: BYU Studies, 2021.     The Doors of Faith. Provo and Salt Lake City: Maxwell Institute and Deseret Book, 2021.     The Life of Eugene England and the Crisis of Modern Mormonism. Chapel Hill: UNC University Press, 2021.     “All Things New”: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between. With Fiona Givens. Provo, UT: Faith Matters, 2020.     Mormonism: What Everyone Needs to Know (WENtK Series) New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.     2 Nephi: A Brief Theological Introduction. Provo: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2020.     The Pearl of Greatest Price: Mormonism’s Most Controversial Scripture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.     Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought volume 2: Church and Praxis. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017    

The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Deseret, 2017.

    Oxford Handbook to Mormonism. Co-edited with Philip Barlow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.      Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought volume 1. The Cosmos, the Human, the Divine. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.       The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Deseret, 2014.     A Sourcebook of Mormons in America. Co-edited with Reid Neilson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.     The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life (with Fiona Givens). Salt Lake City: Deseret, 2012.     Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. With Matthew Grow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.      When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Life in Western Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.      The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.     Joseph Smith: Reappraisals After Two Centuries. Co-edited with Reid Neilson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.     People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.     The Latter-day Saint Experience in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004.     By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.   The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy. Religion in America Series. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Second, revised edition published 2012.    

SELECT ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS

“A Latter-day Saint Theology of Art,” in Amanda Beardsley and Mason Allred, ed. Mormon Art from the Beginning to the End. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.     “The Tree of Life: Cacophony, Risk, Discernment,” in Ben Keough and Joseph Spencer, ed., Approaching the Tree: Interpreting 1 Nephi 8. Provo: Maxwell Institute, forthcoming.     “Understandings of the Relationships Between Grace and Works,” in Eric Eliason and Terryl Givens, ed., Yet to Be Revealed: Open Questions in Latter-day Saint Theology, ed. with Eric Eliason. Provo: BYU Studies, 2021.     “How Limited is Postmortal Progression?,” in Eliason and Givens, Yet to Be Revealed.     “The Book of Mormon and Covenant Theology,” in Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon, ed. Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2019.     “Mormons at the Forefront,” First Things, June 2016.      “The Global Church,” in The World-Wide Church: Mormonism as a Global Religion. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2015.     “Epilogue,” Standing Apart: Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy, eds. Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young. New York: Oxford, 2014.      “Foreword,” John Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex. Salt Lake City: Deseret, 2013.     “Foreword,” Boyd Peterson, Dead Wood and Rushing Water. (Salt Lake City: Kofford Books, 2013.     “Mormonism and the Family,” Journal of Religion and American Culture, 23.1 (Winter 2013).     “No Small and Cramped Eternities,” introduction to A. Scott Howe and Richard L. Bushman, eds., Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision. Salt Lake City: Kofford Books, 2012.     “Joseph Smith,” Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History, ed. Lynn Dumenil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012     “How Mormons Became American,” Religion and Politics, 14 November 2012, http://religionandpolitics.org/2012/11/14/how-mormons-became-american/       “Response to Panel of Reviewers, When Souls had Wings,” BYU Studies 50.4 (summer 2012): 136-165.     “The Heavenly Logic of Proxy Baptism,” First Things, on-line edition, 8 March 2012.     “Romney, Mormonism, and the American Compromise,” Sightings, University of Chicago Divinity School on-line journal, 16 February 2012.     Joseph Smith, Romanticism, and Tragic Creation, Journal of Mormon History 38.3 (summer 2012): 148-162.     “Preface” to Mormons and Monsters, eds. William Morris and Theric Jepson.  Mediaworx, 2011.      “Latter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of, and its Theology,” “Mormon, Book of,” “Mormon Worship,” “Joseph Smith,” “Brigham Young.”  In Daniel M. Patte, ed., Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity.  Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2010.     “The Book of Mormon,” in Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010.      “The Book of Mormon,” in A New Literary History of America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.      “‘Common-Sense’ Meets the Book of Mormon: Source, Substance, and Prophetic Disruption,” in Revisiting The Mormons: Persistent Themes, and Contemporary Perspectives. Eds. Cardell K. Jacobson, John P. Hoffmann, and Tim B. Heaton. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2008     "Mormons." In American History through Literature, 1820-1870, ed. Janet Gabler-Hover and Robert Sattelmeyer. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006), 759-761.     “Joseph Smith: Prophecy, Process, and Plenitude,” BYU Studies 44.4 (2005): 55-68. Republished in The Worlds of Joseph Smith: A Bicentennial Conference at the Library of Congress, ed. John Welch. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2006.     "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” in Eugene V. Gallagher and William M. Ashcraft, eds. Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, vol. 2, 34-51. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006 “Mormons.”  In Christianity: A Complete Guide.  London: Continuum, 2005.   “’Adjectives of Mystery and Splendor’: Byron and Romantic Religiosity.”  In Recent Perspectives on European Romanticism, ed. Larry Peer,  Lewiston, NY: Mellon Press, 2002;  Originally published in Prisms: A Journal of Studies in Romanticism.  (Winter 2000): 29-47.

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  • Language: English,
  • Page Count: 176
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  • Price: $ 14.95

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