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|Title||The Self-Critical Book of Mormon: Notes on an Emergent Literary Approach|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Spencer, Joseph M.|
|Journal||Journal of Book of Mormon Studies|
|Type of Article||Review Essay|
|Keywords||Literary; Literature; Narrative|
This essay examines the shared literary approach to the Book of Mormon in recent essays by Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman. These two scholars use the literary tool of deconstruction to investigate ways in which the Book of Mormon not only presents a narrative but also offers an implicit critique of its own narrative. Each sees this selfcritical or deconstructive aspect of the Book of Mormon as central to the volume’s historical and political force, a means by which the book could subtly but powerfully work against major assumptions in nineteenth-century American culture. Although they share this methodology, Fenton and Hickman use it for slightly different aims or go to slightly different lengths with it. These differences help to clarify both the usefulness of and the potential dangers or temptations inherent to the deconstructive interpretation of the Book of Mormon.
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