Mormon Scholarship And The Book Of MormonCriticism From Outside
Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:12 AM
In His Debt/Grace
LDS JEDI KNIGHT
Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:06 AM
We don't know where to look.
We don't know what to look for.
The issue is not why haven't we found any evidence. The question is why would we expect to find any evidence.
Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:11 AM
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:31 PM
Speaking of the collective group of Mesoamericansts on the Book of Mormon, Mark Wright offered this comment a few years ago:
Mark Wright Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:12 PM
In answer to the question, "If there are history PhDs or professional archaeologists who converted to Mormonism after analyzing the BoM and finding it compellingly authentic, please, tell us who they are."
I can name two: Alejandro Sarabia, the current site director of Teotihuacan (the largest archaeological zone in all of Mesoamerica) and his wife, Dr. Kim Goldsmith (PhD, UC Riverside Dept of Anthropology, dissertation on ceramics of Teotihuacan). They both joined the church several years ago after meeting some missionaries proselyting outside the gates of the Teo. Kim and Alejandro just got sealed last March. Both of them joined the church many, many years after earning their degrees in archaeology and both have decades of research under their belts at Teotihuacan (a site which was flourishing in Book of Mormon times, incidentally). I will serve as a primary source on this information, since I know Kim and her husband, and had lunch with them down in Teo just a few weeks ago.
As for the opinion of most Mesoamerican scholars, the vast majority of them have no clue what the Book of Mormon says and most will never take the time to read it. Most of what they think they know about it comes from psuedoscholars who publish their misinformed junk science that fills the shelves of Deseret Book. As a Mesoamericanist, the only books I can really recommend on the subject that contain current scholarship are Brant's new volumes, but I don't know any scholars would take the time to read a six-volume set. Most won't take the time to respond to an email (I'm not kidding).
As for how archaeologists who happen to be Mormon are concerned, they are well respected in the field. I'm at the Maya Meetings at Texas right now (they end tomorrow). Allen Christensen from BYU spoke to a packed house last night - everybody here absolutely adores him. He was even asked to cover MCing duty today since David Stuart's voice was going out (David Stuart is the world's leading Maya epigrapher). John Clark is also highly respected in the field, as is Richard Hansen (though he got in some hot water for consulting on Apocalypto). I know of a couple of others who are LDS (who don't make it public out of fear of being labeled crack-pots, which prejudice is based on the aforementioned junk science). My committee members all know I'm LDS, and they show me just as much respect as any other doctoral candidate.
Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:38 PM
Mr. Robuchan, meet Mr. Altersteve. Mr. Altersteve, Mr. Robuchan.
Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:41 PM
Edited by Gervin, 12 March 2012 - 01:41 PM.
Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:20 PM
Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:36 PM
I wish people would stop demanding opinions on a Mormon topic by non Mormons. This is like asking an archetect to comment on medical treatments for cancer. Non mormon mesoamericanists are not interested in the BofM as a textbook on Msoamerican culture and even though it may have taken place in Mesoamerica, The BofM is not and does not claim in any way to be such a textbook.
Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:01 PM
Martin Harris did.
Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:16 PM
Why not ask "non mormon mesoamericanists" of their opinion? According to mormon mesoamericanists, mormon mesoamericanists learned of Book of Mormon geography from non mormon mesoamericanists.
Yep. Joseph Smith learned from non mormon mesoamericanists where true Book of Mormon geography was.
This is like President Monson discovering the location of the Lost Tribes of Israel from reading the National Geographic, and then ignoring the National Geographic's opinions on the matter.
So, politely, you're wrong Poulsenll. IF Mormon Mesoamericanists are going to declare the Prophet of God (Joseph Smith) discovered the location of Book of Mormon geography from non-mormon mesoamericanists, then non-mormon mesoamericanist's opinions on the subject do matter. Because it was their work as the source of Joseph Smith's discovery!
Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:30 PM
We do not even know for certain if the Book of Mormon took place in central america so there is little point in the exercise.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:26 AM
As for non-LDS Mesoamericanists, most of them know virtually nothing about the actual contents the Book of Mormon. It's not an issue that comes up at academic conferences or in the scholarly literature. The vast majority of them simply don't care about it (though they are leery of those that do). I personally know scores of Mesoamerican scholars, and to the best of my knowledge only two of them have ever read through the Book of Mormon, and it was well over 20 years ago for both of them. They are vaguely familiar with the work of FARMS from the 1980s, but not much beyond that.Their expertise in the Book of Mormon is roughly equivalent to my expertise in Shakespeare; I read Macbeth once in high school and watched the movie Much Ado About Nothing starring Keanu Reeves in 1993. Fortunately, I've had the opportunity to share some of my insights with a number of my fellow Mesoamerican scholars one-on-one and virtually all of them have been very respectful and seemed to take no issue with anything I said. I usually get feedback such as "I can see that", "That makes sense", "I don't have a problem with that", and once I even got a very genuine "Wow! That's really interesting!". That last comment actually impacted me quite a bit. It helped me come to the realization that I'm not out to prove the Book of Mormon true; I'm out to prove it interesting. And I'm finding that to be a much more fruitful approach.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:50 AM
If they chose to publish, and their research was credible and defensible, why would this be suicide?
Edited by Gervin, 14 March 2012 - 04:50 AM.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:02 AM
Edited by calmoriah, 14 March 2012 - 05:03 AM.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:18 AM
The major problem with BOM evidence in mesoamerica is.... identification of artifacts. You discover a jade necklace -- how can you identify whether it is Nephite, Lamanite, or something else. For the most part, the ancient names of cities or geographic features are unknown, with one interesting exception, Lamanai which has a BOM connection.
So, anyway you are being very silly. How can LDS and nonLDS archeologists give any opinions. Exactly what do you expect them to publish?
If you are able to give us some ideas on identification, you would do us a great favor. Otherwise you are just blowing hot air.
Edited by cdowis, 14 March 2012 - 07:26 AM.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:37 AM
Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:17 AM
Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:25 AM
Edited by Gervin, 14 March 2012 - 08:29 AM.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:52 AM
We agree that we do not know. You just used a longer sentence to say the same thing.
If someone was interested in idetifying it with something called "Nephite" or "Lamanite" then I imagine they would have to first show that such a culture actually existed, and existed in Mesoamerica.
How exactly do you propose to demonstrate that such a culture with the name Nephite, Lamanite, Jaredite existed? We know of many cultures in this area, and perhaps one of them is a BOM culture. Again, it is a matter of identification.
In any case, we are aware of them from the only extant record from that time and place. Again it is merely a matter of identifying their artifacts.
There is one hint at their cultural remains. As I documented elsewhere in circa 600 BCE a village changed its burial rites that had been practiced for 1500 year to a custom similar to the Jewish custom.
There seem to be a variety of opinions about whether the BOM setting is Mesoamerica (even this thread bears it out). Sarabia and Goldsmith are the two names consistently trotted out as Mesoamerican archaeologists who believe the Book of Mormon is true - I was simply wondering if they had opined on this topic given their professions and belief. Why is this silly?
OK, they have a testimony of the BOM, but, to my knowledge, they have not resolved the issue of identification. They would likely say that their knowledge of the history of the area is not inconsistent with the BOM, but not sufficient to prove it.
"Why is this silly?"
Again, you are making a phoney demand. I showed the insurmountable barrier to this problem, requested a suggestion from you on how to resolve it, and you continue to blow hot air with no substance.
Edited by cdowis, 14 March 2012 - 08:59 AM.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:08 AM
From a different post:
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users