Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rethinking the Book of Mormon

[I've included the potential book blurb for my second volume, and a preliminary table of contents. The manuscript is submitted to the publisher, and I look forward to hearing back from them. I hope you're as excited as I am!] 

Believers in the Book of Mormon contend it is an account of real people that existed in history. From Joseph Smith’s plural marriage to Brigham Young’s statements on race, as we study the complexity of history we develop a deeper appreciation for struggling leaders moving, sometimes imperfectly, through a tragic and fallen world. Rethinking the Book of Mormon is the first book of its kind to develop a similarly complex history within ancient scripture. Extensive historical examples, including the campaigns of the Byzantine general Belisarius, "evil gangs" of Samurai, and purposeful manipulation of records by Chinese dynastic historians, combine with detailed analysis of subtle clues in the text to provide additional insight into the militarization of the Nephites by their spiritual leaders, the deadly machinations even righteous rulers needed to gain and keep political power, and the reliability of reported armies sizes as judged by the military participation ratio. Filled with unique insights, such as the ironic use of peace rhetoric by Amalickiah that led to a great war, the velvet glove rhetoric of Giddianhi that suggests he was more than a toothless highway robber and had some legitimate complaints, and Moroni’s innovative and winning tactics leading to rapacious taxation and insurgency, Rethinking the Book of Mormon is a revolutionary interpretation that offers a complex understanding and reinterpretation of both heroes and villains in the text; which promises to enrich our understanding of the vibrant historical narrative within the Book of Mormon.  

1. Introduction
2. Gideon's Legacy: The Spiritual Foundation and Militarization of the Nephites
3. The Vandal Wars, Evil Gangs, and the Fall of Chang'an: Three Untold Stories in the Book of Mormon
4. For the Peace of our People: Amalickiah's Arguments in Alma 47
5. Undissected Victory: The Consequences of the Great War
6. Plundering the Narrative: Giddianhi's Letter in 3rd Nephi 3:2-10
7. Myriads, Centurions, and a Nephite Ten Thousand
8. Complexity, Political Maneuvers, and Contradiction: The Book of Mormon Rethought  


mormonchess said...

This looks to be a great book. I'm eagerly looking forward to it. One of the things I can personally appreciate is the fact that nuance exists in all aspects of our lives, and that we need to avoid simplistic reductionist thinking about these issues. The more I study the Book of Mormon and take it seriously as an ancient text, the more I see fascinating nuances that directly related to our time.

Morgan Deane said...

Thanks for your interest!