An Experiment on the Word: Reading Alma 32
This book is based on a novel idea: that Mormons do theology. Doing theology isdifferent from weighing history, deciding doctrine, or inspiring devotion. Theology speculates. It experiments with questions and advances hypotheses. It tests new angles and pulls loose threads. It reads old texts in careful and creative ways. Theology, in this sense, is not an institutional practice. It has no force beyond the charity it demonstrates and it decides no questions beyond what the Brethren have settled. It is the work of individuals who, for its own sake, want to see what ideas about Mormonism may, at least for a time, fly.The Mormon Theology Seminar aims to promote such work. The Seminar isboth unofficial and independent. It is scholarly in orientation and cooperative in practice. It focuses on organizing short-term, seminar-style collaborations that, over the span of a few months of intense discussion, consider specific questions about Mormon theology through close readings of basic Mormon texts. This book makes public the papers that resulted from one such seminar. The result? A collective consideration on the relationship between faith and the word in Alma 32.