Faithful scholarship: the mainstreaming of Mormon studies and the politics of insider discourse Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Duffy, John-Charles
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • Though Mormon scholars have pursued Mormon studies since the 1960s, only in the first years of the twenty-first century did a few non-Mormon schools begin to institutionalize the study of Mormonism. Bringing Mormon studies into the academic mainstream has required negotiation among various interests. The most influential Mormon players in these negotiations promote "faithful scholarship," scholarship predicated on orthodox Mormon presuppositions. Efforts to mainstream faithful scholarship offer a case study for examining issues currently debated in religious studies, especially around the question of how much academic authority insiders' discourse about their religions ought to have. First, I narrate the development of scholarship on Mormonism from 1959 to 2006, focusing on the contests within Mormonism that led to faithful scholarship's becoming the dominant model for Mormon scholars. Then I analyze the means and consequences of faithful scholarship's influence on ongoing initiatives to institutionalize Mormon studies at non-Mormon academic institutions.
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  • Maffly-Kipp, Laurie F.
  • Open access

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