Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Call for articles for theme issue on Mormonism and Evangelicalism and Dialogical Theology and Apologetics

Sacred Tribes Journal is an electronic publication devoted to the academic exploration of new religious movements. The editors of this publication are currently seeking submissions for consideration that will comprise a special theme issue related to Mormonism.

The academic conversation between evangelical and Latter-day Saints has been taking place for some time. At times this has been dialogical, and at other times scholars from both sides of the religious divide have put forward ideas and responses in forums representative of their own religious communities without direct interaction with opposing points of view. While such approaches to scholarship have their benefits, a dialogical form of academic engagement can be especially helpful. One recent and promising example of this is found in Donald W. Musser and David L. Paulsen, eds., Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies (Mercer University Press, 2007). This volume is important in that it avoids the tendency among evangelical and LDS scholars to engage in their discussion and scholarship in their own religious communities independent of direct interaction with the religious community they are writing about.

In addition to these considerations much of the dialogue and scholarly effort up to this point has been defined by boundary definition and maintenance concerns for both communities, and with the question, “Is Mormonism Christian?” lingering in the background, and at times in the forefront of interaction. While self-identity and definition are important considerations for both religious communities, there are also broader perspectives to consider that can help us understand each other more. Sacred Tribes Journal would like to serve as a forum for such exploration.

There is also the possibility for fresh perspectives to come outside of Latter-day Saint and evangelical Protestant frameworks. Broader Christendom and other places in the academy may contribute the results of their observations on evangelical-LDS interactions that may help address potential blindspots and provide for additional understanding.

Call for Submissions
The editors of Sacred Tribes Journal are planning on a special theme issue devoted to Mormonism and evangelicalism that will involve dialogical approaches to theology, and perhaps apologetic approaches. A collection of evangelical and Mormon scholars will be put together and these submissions will be reviewed by representatives of the other religious community so that a response can be offered. Issues discussed in papers may include the following:

• Perceptions of the state of affairs since How Wide the Divide?.

• The extent to which apologetic arguments and counter-arguments have been understood and responded to since The New Mormon Challenge and the FARMS response and critique of this work.

• Ethical-ritual practice perspectives.

• The place of narrative and culturally-formative stories play in understanding Mormonism in contrast with creedal and systematic theology perspectives of Protestantism.

• How narrative and ritual provide overarching hermeneutical frameworks within Mormonism in its biblical interpretation.

If you are interested in submitting an article for consideration, for general considerations please see the guidelines for contributors, and for specific questions related to this issue please contact John Morehead at johnwmorehead@msn.com.

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