The Search for Cultural Origins of Mormon Doctrines
Bringhurst, Newell G.
Excavating Mormon Pasts : The New Historiography of the Last Half Century
Salt Lake City
Greg Kofford Books
'Students of Mormon history in the past half century have searched far and wide in their quest for cultural explanations of the faith's theology. This search has led them not only into Joseph Smith's immediate environs such as western New York, but down such diffuse and divergent cultural trails as New England Puritanism, the Bible, Christian primitivism, millennialism, folk magic, masonry, and most recently, the occult philosophy of Renaissance hermeticism. While the trails mapped by these historians crisscross and overlap, I will attempt to traverse them individually, reviewing the works of their proponents and adversaries.' (taken from author's introduction)