Abundant Events or Narrative Abundance : Robert Orsi and the Academic Study of Mormonism
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Mormon Studies has attempted to move beyond the narrow confines of its past, with its focus on institutional histories and biographies of important people (mostly white men), toward a more methodologically nuanced and interpretive multi-disciplinary approach. Part of that growth requires that the data of Mormon Studies be scrutinized through the theoretical approaches coming out of disciplines such as religious studies. Here, Taysom describes Robert Orsi's method and situates it within the context of religious studies methodology. He scrutinizes the historical narratives associated with Joseph Smith's "golden plates" through the lenses provided by Orsi's theory of "abundant events" in order to test the suitability of Orsi's method to the data of Mormon Studies.