An Essay in Philosophical Mormon Theology

Dissertation, Harvard University (1996)

Abstract
Mormon leaders of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries generally directed their apologetic efforts at exhibiting the Biblical foundations of Mormon theology; more recently scholars have subjected the historical claims underlying Mormon assertions of religious authority to rigorous critical and apologetic examination. Careful philosophical evaluation of Mormon doctrines has been considerably less common among church leaders and scholars, alike; this essay is an attempt to defend Mormon thought philosophically, by rational argumentation and without appeal to Biblical authority or historical fact. ;Chapter 1 is an exposition of relevant Mormon beliefs. Mormonism presents its teachings as a body of revealed, rather than natural or rational, truths, and so any legitimate exposition of Mormonism's doctrine must be firmly grounded in its record of revelation; accordingly, the expository elements of this thesis, unlike the apologetic efforts, must respect the authority of religious texts. ;However, Mormonism's revelatory record does not speak unambiguosly, and so interpretive considerations pervade this essay. Abandoning the common libertarian prejudice of Mormon thought, the interpretation of Mormonism set forth in this essay incorporates determinism, raising philosophical concerns about the possibility of human freedom and responsibility; Chapter 2 deals with this web of issues. ;The existence of evil serves as the strongest counterargument to western religious beliefs; supposing religious belief can be defended by a successful theodicy, the need to offer some sort of positive rationale for religious faith remains as the next great challenge. Accordingly, a Mormon theodicy and a defense of faith comprise the most significant portions of this essay's defense of Mormon thought; if successful, the defense of faith also justifies Mormonism's insistence that faith is not only acceptable but meritorious. ;I believe this essay illustrates the vitality and integrity of Mormon thought by demonstrating its ability to resolve significant difficulties; in virtue of its particular interpretive commitments this essay also has an important role to play within the community of believers: it challenges faithful Mormons who champion other interpretations to show that their interpretions can meet the same challenges
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,662
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Mormons Theists?A. A. Howsepian - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (3):357 - 370.
Worshipworthiness and the Mormon Concept of God.Blake T. Ostler - 1997 - Religious Studies 33 (3):315-326.
Did Christ Pay for Our Sins?R. Dennis Potter - 1999 - Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 32 (4).
Finitism and the Problem of Evil.R. Dennis Potter - 2000 - Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33 (4).
The Philosophy of the Mormon Religion.Robert J. Dwyer - 1936 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 11 (3):476-491.
The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis.Francis J. Beckwith & Stephen E. Parrish - 1994 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 35 (2):118-120.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-02

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature