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TitleExcursus: Structuralist Analysis
Publication TypeExcerpt
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGardner, Brant A.
Book TitleSecond Witness, Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon: Volume 2: 2 Nephi through Jacob
PublisherGreg Kofford Books
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAllegory of the Olive Tree; Anthropology; Literature; Structualism; Structuralist Theory

Non-LDS scholar Seth D. Kunin of the Department of Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen, examined the allegory of the olive tree in the Book of Mormon from the viewpoint of structuralist theory as used in anthropology. Classic structuralist theory began with Claude Lévi-Strauss’s attempt to understand mythology in ways that go deeper than the text of the myth. As Kunin describes it, structuralism “is ultimately concerned with establishing the underlying, unconscious patterns of the brain that shape the way we categorise the world and thus ultimately how we think and act.”