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Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-Day Saintsby Stephen H. Webb
Synopses & Reviews
Mormons are adamant that they are Christian, and eloquent writers within their own faith have tried to make this case, but no theologian outside the LDS church has ever tried to demonstrate just how Christian they are. Stephen H. Webb's Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-day Saints fills this void, as the author writes neither as a critic nor a defender of Mormonism but as a sympathetic observer who is deeply committed to engaging with Mormon ideas.
Webb is unique in taking Mormon theology seriously by showing how it provides plausible and in some instances even persuasive alternatives to many traditional Christian doctrines. His book can serve as an introduction to Mormonism, but it goes far beyond that: Webb explains how Mormonism is a branch of the Christian family tree that extends well beyond what most Christians have ever imagined. His account of their creative appropriation of the Christian tradition is meant to inspire more traditional Christians to reconsider the shape of many basic Christian beliefs.
Mormon Christianity is not all affirming and celebratory. It ends with a call to Mormons to be more focused on Christian essentials and an invitation to other Christians to be more imaginative in considering Mormon alternatives to traditional doctrines.
"With the end of the Romney presidential run, the cultural 'Mormon Moment' appears to be over. But the author of this groundbreaking work insists that Mormonism and its unique metaphysics occupy a special place in American religious thought. Webb is a retired professor of theology and philosophy who brings to his subject a passion for understanding Mormonism's view of God as a corporeal being, one who shares the universe with his creation and, contrary to mainstream Christian thought, possesses body, parts, and passions. The author then presents Mormonism's teachings as extensions of this viewpoint, breathing new life into the church's doctrinal foundation. Polygamy, temples, and the whole range of LDS thought, are imbued with fresh meaning. Matter and spirit are no longer strangers, as Deity assumes human shape. Webb views 'the single most significant cultural revolution in the history of the world' as 'the severing of the supernatural from the natural.' If this is true, then Mormonism's theology of an immanent, like-us God is an answer to this dilemma. Highly recommended essential reading. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Stephen Webb is Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Wabash College.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Mormon Ecumenical Moment
Ch. 1: Mormon Envy
Ch. 2: The Magic of Being Mormon
Ch. 3: What's Up with Mormons and Matter?
Ch. 4: Branches on the Family Tree: Relatives or Impersonators?
Ch. 5: Mormon Overreach? Brigham Young and Parley Pratt
Ch. 6: How to Heal Modernity's Spiritual Breakdown
Ch. 7: Two Decisions
Appendix A: Two Theological Problems that Mormonism Solves
Appendix B: Some Puzzles Regarding Thomas Aquinas's Understanding of Matter
Appendix C: Three Philosophical Problems that Mormonism Needs to Solve Sources and Suggested Reading Acknowledgments
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