In Standing Apart, Fifteen Latter Day Saint Scholars Explore How The Idea Of A Universal Christian Apostasy Has Functioned As A Category To Mark, Define, And Set Apart The Other In The Development Of Mormon Historical Consciousness And In The Construction Of Mormon Narrative Identity


10 thoughts on “Standing Apart

  1. says:

    Just finished reading one of the most important Mormon studies books ever published.Ever since its inception the LDS Church has defined itself as a Restoration of the ancient Church which had fallen into a state of total apostasy This apostasy narrative has become central to LDS identity, but many LDS scholars question the accuracy of many of the claims connected to the apostasy This book is an explicit offering by scholars to Church leaders and members to reconsider the apostasy stories we tell This is the most important book on Mormonism I ve seen since Richard Bushman s Rough Stone Rolling Speaking in terms of the book s composition It contains papers delivered a few years back at an academic conference held at BYU Conference paper collection books are pretty hit and miss This is the best such collection I ve ever read The individual pieces work separately, but they collectively cohere without treading the same ground too much.Congrats to everyone involved in this one I ll put a full review together soon.


  2. says:

    I have a yes so relationship with this book Part one felt a little pretentious and tedious, like the authors were forcing an issue so they would have something to talk about However, realizing I may not be the target audience it s ironic that a book composed of papers written for and delivered at an academic symposium to others who think similarly, will likely only be read by others who think similarly, never reaching the mass audience that it s meant to influence , part one lays a good foundation of the issues I just wish with less words Part two is the yes side of the relationship, full of insight and intrigue My favorite chapters were Purity and Parallels, Rereading the Council of Nicaea and Its Creed and Covenantal Pluralism in Mormonism and Islam, though all of the chapters in part two were both thought provoking and entertaining Towards the end of the book I felt myself nodding in agreement with the authors as I read the following thought, which I think well represents the books ideal As the narrative of apostasy is a component of the LDS metanarrative of salvation, it is all the important that Latter Day Saints understand it, even in all its contextual complexity, for with an understanding of the theological purposes and historical trajectories of apostasy comes a better knowledge of the characters in that narrative God and humanity in all ages of history, including the present When such an understanding rests on a shaky theological or historical foundation, Latter Day Saints are, I believe, prevented from comprehending their own truth claims and thus understanding the very basis of their religion p.310.


  3. says:

    Re read May 2016 Better the second time My brother is the author of one of the essays I wish I could find books like this.You know when you are reading with a highlighter and pencil for underlining and writing in definitions in the margins that you are going to learn a lot I learned a lot I feel educated I have new ideas.History as a narrative, History as a text History written as an apologist, History written as a disciplinary expert I looked up many words, such as historiography, exegesis, pseudepigraphal, theodicy, providential, tendentious, soteriological, praxis, periodization It mattered whether I knew exactly what the word meant It must feel incredible to know so much about history that you can write articles like these.


  4. says:

    This book blew my mind One of the most amazing Mormon Studies books I ve read I didn t realize that the apostasy narrative we cling to is complex than originally taught What a beautiful paradigm shift Some of our simplified teachings of the apostasy have created a insular culture The book is full of general authority quotes on how we are a gospel of inclusion and how reevaluating that narrative will help us support religious pluralism as an opportunity to come together with all of humanity in all our differences similarities to find truth as brothers and sisters.


  5. says:

    A timely and potentially impactful discussion of the Mormon concept of the Great Apostasy As historians and theologians have come to a nuanced and positive view of the so called Dark Ages, and in light of a healthy strain of expansive and universalist thought in Mormonism, it may be time to reframe the traditional and starkly black and white LDS narrative of Christian Apostasy and Restoration The essays in this book explore the development of this narrative and make a good case for a fresh look backward and forward As an international twenty first century church hoping for relevance and influence in this pluralistic world, hanging onto an outdated Protestant view of the past seems like an unlikely way to press forward I am excited to see the ideas presented here bandied about, tried on for fit, ruminated over and hopefully accepted into mainstream Mormonism.


  6. says:

    This one came highly recommended by Blair Hodges After a few chapters I could see why it s an excellent revisiting of concepts of apostasy and restoration, which are foundational to Mormon dispensation thinking.One concept sticks in my mind covenantal pluralism from David Peck s chapter on Mormon and Muslim thinking The idea is that God makes covenants with different peoples and holds them to similar but different standards of faith and moral code That one is intriguing, and I m thinking about how that could fit my fundamental faith in a Christian God I think they can co exist, but need to work out some details


  7. says:

    Blair Hodges once said on the Maxwell Institute Podcast that this was the most important book in Mormon studies since Rough Stone Rolling I agree.


  8. says:

    Wow This was a really good book Not all of the chapters were five star worthy, and it got a little repetitive toward the end, with many of the contributors even using the same quotes from Joseph Smith in their various chapters But this book still merits five stars for several reasons.First, the book argues very persuasively for a non binary view of what Mormon s call the Great Apostasy And it does so using Mormon scripture and statements from Mormon leaders, along with a large dose of historical sources regarding the middle ages, the reformation, and the enlightenment This book establishes that the dark ages were not, actually, dark Rather, they were a time when people lived the gospel the best they knew, with God revealing truths even during those allegedly dark times Second, it is written, as best I can tell, by believing and practicing Mormons who are also scholars in their respective fields, and thus, the essays focused on the issues that first arose in my mind as they challenged the traditional view of the Great Apostasy Many of the authors anticipated the questions that a believing Mormon would have upon learning that the traditional view of the apostasy is not 100% accurate Third, the book taught me many important and interesting things about the middle ages and about other religions Particularly enlightening were the chapter on indulgences, showing how similar that practice often was with our modern day vicarious temple work for our ancestors, and the chapter on Islam, which persuasively argues that all people are a covenant people with God, regardless of their religious beliefs and that all people will be judged based on the particular covenant or covenants they have had the opportunity to make I strongly recommend this book to members of the church who have concerns about the Church s exclusivity and truth claims This book goes a long way toward establishing a viewpoint that embraces the concept of God s love for all of his children, even those living during the dark ages, and the doctrine that the only way to return to God is by accepting the ordinances of the Church.


  9. says:

    This book will FOREVER change the way you see the Great Apostasy For too long Mormons have succumbed to a ridiculously simplistic narrative on this topic This book will hopefully forever change that way of thinking It should be required reading The Great Apostasy was truly great, but not really all that apostate.


  10. says:

    Everybody I knew that had read this book was recommending it as the best Mormon Studies book since sliced cheese I mean, since Rough Stone Rolling I didn t find it to be that engrossing or paradigm shifting, though I am very very glad that I read it I m guessing that everybody loved it so much because it brings the nuance to Mormon discussions of our narrative about the apostasy I ve had that nuance for a long time, so I guess I was expecting from this, and it ended up being slightly disappointing because of the hype Don t get me wrong This book has a wonderful amount of quality essays The first half or so of it is the part that I would most recommend to people, because that s where the various authors begin to break down the traditional LDS apostasy narrative, and I think that the collection of essays does a fantastic job of demonstrating that we need to do a better job of accurately describing the apostasy and what actually happened The second half of the book tries to reimagine the apostasy narrative as a whole in various ways, and though I found those speculative in some ways, I enjoyed them as well for helping me think outside the box The essay on Covenantal Pluralism in Mormonism and Islam was particularly good In the end, though, I think that you can convince Mormons that they need to rethink their apostasy narratives with a few well placed questions It would usually go something like this 1 BH Roberts and James Talmage were writing over 100 years ago, and they used some of the good historical scholarship of the day If they were writing today, what would the recent scholarship say, and how would that have changed their books 2 They just covered 2k years of history in 1.5 pages in the church history manual I think there was probably a little going on that they just didn t want to spend reams of paper on, don t you However, if you d like someone to get a in depth consideration of the questions and topics brought up by those two questions, I d highly recommend this book.