Monday, 18 January 2010

LDS books: Oxford Press finds profits in prophets - Salt Lake Tribune

There is a lesson here for those too easily impressed with the  progress of Mormonism in the academic world:

“Bouncing around on the trend-tossed seas of 21st-century book publishing, Mormon scholarship seems to have docked at the granddaddy of all prestigious presses: Oxford University.

By all accounts, the unlikely partnership between the oldest university in the English-speaking world and an upstart American faith seems to be working. Mormon writers, particularly historians, get the academic credibility they crave and Oxford sells a lot of books.”

Academia chooses its bedfellows for the most pragmatic of reasons. The Mormon Church would have us believe that such stories show that they are finding acceptance where it really counts, among the great academic institutions. Christian apologists in turn fear that Mormonism is gaining legitimacy by such stories. But it is not because they find the Mormon message plausible, nor because they find Mormon academic exploits laudable that they publish Mormon books and speak at Mormon conventions and symposia but because Mormonism is big enough now to sell books and enhance reputations. Its just another shekel in the chest and another university on the CV.

LDS books: Oxford Press finds profits in prophets - Salt Lake Tribune

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