Philip L. Barlow, New York, New York: Oxford University Press (Print-on-Demand), 1997, 6×9″ softbound, 296 pages, 17 halftones.
The Mormons have been one of the most studied American religious groups; still, no consensus exists about the essential nature of the movement or its place in American religion. In this study, Barlow analyzes the approaches taken to the Bible by key Mormon leaders, from founder Joseph Smith up to the present day. He shows that Mormon attitudes toward the Bible comprise an extraordinary mix of conservative, liberal, and radical ingredients: an almost fundamentalist adherence to the King James Version of the Bible coexists with belief in the possibility of new revelation and surprising ideas on the limits of human language. Exploring this unique Mormon stance on scripture, Barlow takes important steps toward unraveling the mystery of this quintessential American religious phenomenon.