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; The principal doctrines defining Mormonism today often bear little resemblance to those it started out with in the early 1830s. This book shows that these doctrines did not originate in a vacuum but were rather prompted and informed by the religious culture from which Mormonism arose. Early Mormons, like their early Christian and even earlier Israelite predecessors, brought with them their own varied culturally conditioned theological presuppositions (a process of convergence) and only later acquired a more distinctive theological outlook (a process of differentiation).
In this first-of-its-kind comprehensive treatment of the development of Mormon theology, Charles Harrell traces the history of Latter-day Saint doctrines from the times of the Old Testament to the present. He describes how Mormonism has carried on the tradition of the biblical authors, early Christians, and later Protestants in reinterpreting scripture to accommodate new theological ideas while attempting to uphold the integrity and authority of the scriptures. In the process, he probes three questions: How did Mormon doctrines develop? What are the scriptural underpinnings of these doctrines? And what do critical scholars make of these same scriptures? In this enlightening study, Harrell systematically peels back the doctrinal accretions of time to provide a fresh new look at Mormon theology.
“This Is My Doctrine” will provide those already versed in Mormonism’s theological tradition with a new and richer perspective of Mormon theology. Those unacquainted with Mormonism will gain an appreciation for how Mormon theology fits into the larger Jewish and Christian theological traditions.
“Because he does not attempt to square circles by making Mormon doctrine consistent over time, Harrell’s encyclopedic survey of Mormon doctrine is more stimulating and more insightful than most other books on Mormon doctrine. He takes many of our most beloved and disputed doctrines and shows the different ways they have been understood (sometimes by the same authority) at different moments in time. What is both amazing and refreshing is that he succeeds in providing a non-apologetic yet sympathetic interpretation of Mormon doctrine, warts and all.”— James McLachlan, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Western Carolina University; co-editor of Discourses in Mormon Theology: Philosphical and Theological Possibilities. ; 6" x 9"; 597 pages; 1589581032