Imagination: Volume Four of the Cultural History: Published

Although I mentioned yesterday in the regular Tuesday post for the Reading Project, let me make it official.
Volume Four of A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is published, in two books:

Book A: What Dreams Have Come

Book B: Bodies of Word

This fourth volume explores the imaginative productions inspired by the Book of Mormon, from various sealed portions and books of Lehi, to romantic fiction and Hugh Nibley’s speculations on the Old World origins of Nephite culture.  The second book in the volume explores the Imagination as a philosophical and linguistic puzzle, and explains how languages we speak shape the creative imagination, and give substance to guesses about the meaning of words like “Atonement,” “Correlation,” “intelligences,” and “holy spirit.”  The more philosophical and analytically minded readers seem to very much enjoy reading Bodies of Word


What Dreams Have Come
a cultural history of the book of mormon: Volume Four ABeginning with Book of Mormon inspired fiction from the early 1900s, this volume explores the landscape of imaginary works generated by that book.  Included are analyses of Hugh Nibley’s scholarly imagined creations, various fan fictions, more recent “Sealed Portions” and other “pseudepigrapha” like the Mentinah Archives, various Books of Lehi, among other oddities of scriptures, culminating with the Abyssinian Book of Mormon.  The usual insightfulness and humor run through this Part A of Volume Four, a study of what we have dreamed up from the Book of Mormon so far.






Bodies of Word

a cultural history of the book of mormon: volume four BAn extensive and complex argument showing how and why the language we speak shapes how we imagine the things we can’t see.  Includes a great deal of philosophy, linguistic anthropology, and original research on how “atonement” has been imagined, and why; the origins of “correlation”; revised work on the history of Mormon theology, including the doctrine of intelligences and the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost distinction; and more.  This Volume Four part B shows how imagination and language interlock, and clears the ground for speculative work in the fifth and final volume of this cultural history.


  1. Thank you for the exercise in catergorizing the scriptures. I tried to discover the essence of how you figured the entities on the Mount with Jesus. It is still difficult how you pieced the players together as appearing from the term “receiving my glory”. Those of us with minds that don’t work as yours see the simple and find it arduous to see the other hidden things. When is it going to be plain? We have been waiting.

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