Journal of Book of Mormon Studies

Article Title

The Book of Mormon Wars: A Non-Mormon Perspective


The Protestant Bible wars were fought between fundamentalists, who initially claimed for the Bible the same "truth" that Enlightenment claimed for science, and liberals, who denied that historical "truth" could be achieved at all. In the present Book of Mormon wars the opposite seems to be true: the liberal camp appears deeply rooted in the Enlightenment paradigm, while the orthodox (but not fundamentalist) position often uses postmodernist arguments, claiming that absolute objectivity is a "noble dream" never achieved nor obtainable in historical studies. The article reviews the present Mormon controversies by comparing them to the discussions on biblical interpretation in the Roman Catholic Church, as summarized in the semiofficial 1993 document "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church" by the Pontifical Biblical Commission.