Voice from the Dust : A Literary Analysis of the Book of Mormon
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Book of Mormon is a religious text which, like the Bible, may be subjected to various methods of analysis. This thesis discusses whether literary methods of analysis are applicable to a sacred text, and suggests rules which should govern such a method of analysis.
Following these rules, the thesis provides an analysis of specific themes particular to the Book of Mormon and suggests how they are integral to the structure of the text. Then it relates the linguistic problems which the authors encountered in their transcription and translation labours, and considers the writers' self-conscious compositional efforts in relation to the moral message which the book proclaims. Two anomalies--large sections from the Book of Isaiah and progressively intrusive editorializing--are then examined in terms of their incorporation into the thematic and structural integrity of the text. Finally, consideration is given to the hermeneutical problem the contemporary reader encounters in reading and comprehending an ancient text.
The thesis demonstrates that there is a closely integrated relationship between the form and the content of the text, and argues that the authors' achievement of their purpose--to preach a message to a distant, future audience--can be considered a sophisticated linguistic and literary accomplishment.