The Possibility of Joseph Smith: Some Evangelical Probings
This chapter contributes to the evangelical understanding of Joseph Smith. The interest of evangelical scholars in Mormonism has tended to be in the context of apologetics rather than scholarly inquiry. The chapter breaks new ground in this regard by responding to the probing question: Is Joseph Smith possible for you? It stakes out an alternative to the facile either/or approaches that refuse to relinquish the burden of judgment. Turning the study of Joseph Smith in the direction of reception-theory enables both a richer dialogue and the possibility of real insight into the religious yearnings and preoccupations of religious communities. As a tentative gesture in this direction, the chapter makes history in a modest way, rather than examining it.
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