10 Questions with Jonathan Stapley

As part of our work with the 10 Questions team, we will be posting later this week on Kurt Manwaring’s upcoming interview with the Maxwell Institute’s Spencer Fluhman. In the meantime, however, we thought we would highlight a great interview 10 Questions recently posted with Jonathan Stapley, bloggernacle regular and author of “The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology” (Oxford University Press).

In his interview, Stapley notes of his new book: “[I]n The Power of Godliness, I look at the history and development of core ideas essential to current Mormon identity such as priesthood, authority, and ordinances. I also analyze how women have variously been included and excluded from these concepts, especially in relation to the liturgy of the church. For example, in Nauvoo, men and women who participated in the Temple liturgy while Joseph Smith was alive, referred to themselves as “the priesthood.” Both believers and scholars have struggled to understand what that meant. Moreover many have used historical practice or theology to make arguments about the current ecclesiastical or liturgical structures of the church. My volume is an academic history of Mormonism, and as such it’s intent is simply to understand and analyze the past and contextualize and historicize the present.”

When you have a moment, check out the 10 Questions interview and Stapley’s new book, which are both well worth your time.