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Well done, Dave. And Prince's interview, along with Grant Palmer's, were my favorites.

It is a typo, confirmed by Prince, and forwarded to the PBS ombudsman.

Thanks for the confirmation, Ben. PBS acted quickly -- the correcting "not" is now in the quoted passage.

I'll put in a second plug for Prince's book. Essential reading for those interested in the ban, the folklore and Mormon history in the 50s and 60s.

He said that some parts of the OT are probably fiction, which I had heard, then says that the BofM could possible also be fiction, which I have not heard. Is is likely that the BofM is not all history, but is partially fictionalized?

Sara, there's a wide spectrum of opinion about both the Bible and the Book of Mormon when it comes to "historicity." It all depends on who you talk to. Obviously, most Mormons affirm historicity, but that's a faith response and is not the sort of thing one can demonstrate historically or scientifically in a way that would settle the question to everyone's satisfaction.

I'm surprised at the limited number of interviews, all things considered. Can I confess my dark secret of hoping they had an interview with Bagley online?

Personally, I would love to see the whole Packer interview...

Clearly, in Prince's mind, inspirational fiction is a possible explanation for the BoM. If it is not too much of a threadjack, does anyone know of how the issue of the plates and the witnesses is addressed by those who hold to this explanation? It seems to me it would be difficult to not see JS and the 3 and 8 witnesses as fraudsters if the BoM is fiction. Can anyone help me out?

Gomez, Grant Palmer conducts that sort of discussion about plates and witnesses in An Insider's View of Mormon Origins (see my left sidebar for links to the book and related posts).

Wow. I haven't read the entire interview (yet) but the excerpt about culture of certainty certainly hits home for me. As I blogged over at The Cultural Hall, I heard several "I don't believe, I know" testimonies yesterday. Given my current perspective, that was more than a little unsettling. I had never thought of that need for certitude as a root of fundamentalism - not within the church (where "fundamentalist" has its own meaning) but in the people of the One God traditions.

Matt W, wasn't it rad when they called him out on his homophobia? I laughed out loud when he tried to deny it.

Gomez, Palmer's book is inestimable. Every Mormon should read it. In there he presents the "testimony" of the witnesses, the problem with the BofM's meso-american setting, the evolusion of JS's concept of two priesthoods, the reconstruction and re-working of the church's official history, the BofM's relation to Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews and Josephus, and, most importantly, how they got you and me to buy into the "official" story. It's a must-read and a good eye-opener, like most of the books on Dave's sidebar! (Dave, awesome book list, BTW).

I meant "evolution." Sorry.

David J., thanks for the nod on the book list -- which also serves to collect links to posts related to each book (books being my primary source for bloggable topics) and to put a little visual variety on the page.

Let me just note that I was pointing Gomez to Insider's View based on his direct request for a treatment of the question of plates and witnesses from the perspective of an author who rejects historicity. I wasn't giving a blanket endorsement to Palmer or to the book.

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