Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


Alma, faith, Mormon Theology Seminar

Document Type

Book Review


In this remarkable little volume, a small group of Mormon scholars who form what they call the “Mormon Theology Seminar” perform an experiment on the Book of Mormon. They ask two questions: First, what would happen if the Book of Mormon were read theologically, instead of historically or doctrinally? Second, what would happen if this theological reading were done in a collaborative setting? Fittingly, they selected Alma 32 as the text to be experimented on, with the six essays in this small work (about 100 pages) as the result. The contributors, drawing upon backgrounds in philosophy, literature, biblical studies, and finance, attempt to provide answers to four overarching questions: (1) “What does Alma 32 teach us about exercising faith?” (2) “What does Alma mean by ‘the word,’ and why is it so central to faith?” (3) “What is meant by ‘experiment’ in Alma 32:27?” and (4) “How might paying close attention to the textual, historical, and political contexts of Alma 32 shape or reshape our understanding of Alma’s treatment of faith?”