Which Dialogue articles should the savvy blog-reader have hot-keyed and ready to go? What would the top three articles be, for useful citation in blog conversation?
England, for one. The question occurred to me after I linked Eugene England’s essay “On Fidelity, Polygamy, and Celestial Marriage” for about the tenth time in a blog comment. That essay does a great job of pointing out problems with polygamy and debunking pro-polygamy arguments. It has lots of breadth, and while it doesn’t examine some of these questions in great detail, and makes a few unwarranted assertions, it nonetheless is a must for the blogger’s short list.
Lester Bush’s Dialogue article about the development of the Negro doctrine is also a must. Rather than the Dialogue link, though, I typically cite to the Signature books link for Neither White Nor Black, because it contains great added resources — the entire book is available for free online.
Both of these give a lot of basic and important information on topics which come up often and which are widely misunderstood. As a result, they’re very useful as actual citations in the fast-paced, broad-ranging, often shallowly-supported world of blogging.
At this point, I’ll kick it over to readers. Which article(s) should be third on the list? Buerger on Adam-God (do bloggers _care_ about that?), or on priesthood? Quinn on post-Manifesto polygamy? Jeffery on Evolution? Levi on Mormon erotica? Have I misjudged on one or both of my first two suggestions?
What do people think?
[Future installations to address other periodicals.]
I agree with England and Bush.
A third that I find I’m constantly referring people to is Richard S. Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker, “Joseph Smith: The Gift of Seeing,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 15:2 (Summer 1982):
“I was a Teen-Age Mormon.”
This is an interesting question, because it highlights one weakness of scholarly archives, that being that things are typically improved upon. Dialogue has published a ton of great cutting-edge material, but frequently it is trumped by a later book by the same author. Still, the archives are free, and that is good. A great example is Irene Bates “Patriarchal Blessings and the Routinization of Charisma” (vol. 26) and her co-authored book Lost Legacy. Though not required reading per se (and a bit flawed), Beuger’s stuff is part of the collective understanding in Mormon Studies.
You’re right about the Lester Bush priesthood articles.
Thomas Alexander’s article on the history of the Word of Wisdom is terrific.
Buerger on Adam-God is great. Buerger on the Endowment is also very good.
Van Wagoner on the myths that Brigham Young created about Sydney Rigdon is essential reading for understanding that politics have played a much larger role than inspiration or revelation in the evolution of church authority.
Also, Jeffrey’s article “Seers, Savants, and Evolution” should be required reading for investigators.
I meant to say before I submitted that it’s just plain wrong to limit possible citations of Dialogue to three articles — even under the auspices of a ranking. In fact, nobody should even think about having less than five on the tip of their tongue.
Blake Ostler’s “modern expansion” BoM article is outstanding. Dennis Potter’s recent deconstruction of the penal substitution model of Atonement is also excellent. Additionally, while I consider Dialogue to be an overall superior journal, there are a handful of Sunstone articles that bear mentioning in the same breath with some of the articles under discussion here–for example Thom Alexander’s “Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine.”
How about Poll’s “What the Church Means to People Like Me.” II/4, 107. It was pivotal for me
Well, I made my pitch for why England’s paper doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but one that hasn’t been mentioned is Ostler’s The Mormon Concept of God, which was excellent. As J. mentioned, this later became his first book. In addition to the main content, footnote 30 in that paper refers to a personal correspondence with Neal A Maxwell about the issues of God’s timelessness which I find myself citing quite frequently.