So it’s almost here at last. Today I got word from my friend Loyd Ericson at Greg Kofford Books that Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology: Essays in Honor of David L Paulsen now has an official release date of July 17, 2012. It will be published simultaneously as an e-book for Kindle, etc. Daniel Peterson at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship has already provided an endorsement, and I’m waiting to hear back from several scholars (Mormon and non-Mormon alike) who have been sent advanced reading copies and who have all agreed to provisionally provide blurbs endorsing the book. Great lineup there. I’m also finishing up the subject and scripture index and making one final go at grammatical corrections.
It’s a relief to finally be approaching the end. The project has taken far too long, over 5 years at this point. Schooling, work, and a host of other things have gotten in the way in the interim, and I feel genuinely sorry that all the contributors and especially David himself have had to wait so long. We barely missed being able to deliver a copy personally to him before he and Audrey left for Iceland on a mission. A couple years ago I seriously contemplated handing the project to someone else, with the stress of school threatening to snuff me out completely. I’m happy I decided against that.
Be that as it may, I think it’s truly a great collection. It’s both an excellent gift in honor of a scholar who has positively influenced literally thousands of people over the course of a nearly 40-year career, as well being a significant contribution to the still nascent field of Mormon philosophical and theological studies. There are really only 6 or so really stand-out names in this field (in my humble opinion), scholars who have contributed original, creative, and (at least potentially in Adam’s case) long-standing contributions to contemporary Mormon philosophical theology: Sterling McMurrin, Truman Madsen (for Eternal Man alone) David Paulsen, James Faulconer, Blake Ostler, and more recently Adam Miller. Of course there are several others who have done and do important work in this field (Joseph Spencer comes immediately to mind, and I’m sure his name will shortly be added to this list), but the point is that the field is small and white (literally) and ready for more harvesting. I’m hoping that this volume is an important and consequential sickle in that field. Virtually all of the essays are quite good, and some are downright stellar, in my completely unbiased view. If you’re interested in Mormon thought, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this.