One of my favorite activities from my last few years has been serving as an associate editor with the Mormon Studies Review. The goal of the journal is to chart the development and progress of Mormon studies scholarship; we aim to translate the significance of these works to a broader audience. We also try to integrate scholars who are well-respected in their fields but are not known for work on Mormonism. Last week we published Volume 4, which is filled with tremendous content, if I do say so myself. You can see the whole table of contents here.
There are a number of phenomenal essays and reviews that I could highlight. I’m especially excited about the roundtable reviews of two important books in Mormon gender history: the LDS Church History Library’s The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History and the edited collection Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings. The participants for the former forum are Catherine Brekus, Susanna Morrill, and Dave Hall, and for the latter are Anthea Butler, Martha Bradley-Evans, and Taylor Petrey. Getting such a wide diversity of reviewers allowed us to look at each volume from internal, external, and methodological perspectives.
We also have a slew of smart and provocative essays. Fanella Cannell‘s essay speaks to key anthropological issues through the lens of Mormonism, and Rosalynde Welch makes sense of new trends in LDS scriptural and theological studies. I particularly love Molly Worthen‘s review essay on contemporary Mormonism and American politics. And David Hollinger, one of the deans of the American historical community, assesses the new Oxford handbook on Mormonism.
And then of course we have our standard book reviews, which exhibit broad coverage both in content and background. Reviewers include Richard Bushman, Max Mueller, Michael Pasquier, Paul Harvey, and Amy Hoyt. Don’t miss Quincy Newell’s excellent comparative review of two documentary sourcebooks on Mormonism and race, which delves into the historian’s craft.
I’m biased, but I’d wager that Mormon Studies Review remains the most established vantage point from which to trace the Mormon studies field. You can get digital access to this journal, along with all the other Maxwell Institute periodicals, for a mere $10 here.
With Volume 4 going online, that means Volume 3 is now free for all interested readers. (See here.) It includes a fantastic roundtable on lived religion, a smart theoretical exploration of the First Vision by Ann Taves and Steve Harper, a brilliant engagement with whiteness literature by Sylvester Johnson, and reviews by leading scholars like Charles Cohen, Randall Stephens, and Adam Jortner, among other material.