Daniel C. Peterson

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Daniel C. Peterson is a prominent Mormon apologist and professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University (BYU). [1] He also currently serves as editor-in-chief of BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative.[2] He is a former member of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. The institute released Peterson in June of 2012[3][4] Peterson is the first and current editor of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.[4]


Peterson is well known for his work as an apologist and scholar on subjects dealing with claims of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), of which he is a member. He is the former editor of the FARMS Review (now the Mormon Studies Review), a well known apologetic periodical produced by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. Peterson is a regular participant in online fora about Mormonism where he discusses the LDS faith and its apologetics.[5] One of his projects has been the development of a website featuring the testimonies of LDS scholars.[6] (A corresponding website featuring testimonies of ex-Mormons was developed in response to his project [7])

A native of southern California, Peterson received a bachelor’s degree in Greek and philosophy from BYU and, after several years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo, earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Peterson is currently a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU, where he teaches Arabic language and literature at all levels, Islamic philosophy, Islamic culture and civilization, Islamic religion, the Qur'an, the introductory and senior "capstone" courses for Middle Eastern Studies majors, and various other occasional, specialized classes. He has authored several books and numerous articles on Islamic and Latter-day Saint topics.

He has served in various capacities including chairman of the board for what is now known as BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of BYU's four-part Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, which includes not only the Islamic Translation Series but three sister series: the Medical Works of Moses Maimonides, Eastern Christian Texts, and the Library of the Christian East. In 2007, in recognition of his establishment of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, Peterson was named a Utah Academy Fellow and declared a lifetime member of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.[8]

Peterson served a mission in the Switzerland Zurich Mission. He served on the LDS Church's Gospel Doctrine Committee and was a bishop in the church.[9]

Controversy over personal attacks[edit]

Under Peterson's editorship of the FARMS Review he was involved in an incident, along with William Hamblin, where they personally disparaged an independent researcher that had been critical of the LDS Church, Brent Metcalfe. Metcalfe himself, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, and others pointedly criticized Peterson[10] and FARMS scholarship in general over the incident. According to Peterson, the board of directors were displeased with the incident.[citation needed] The matter was covered in local Utah press.[citation needed]


  • Peterson, Daniel C. (2007), Muhammad, Prophet of God, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-0754-2 .
  • ——; Ricks, Stephen D. (1998), Offenders for a Word, Foundation for Ancient Research & Mormon Studies, ISBN 0-934893-35-7 .


  1. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (November 7, 2012). "For Mormons, a Cautious Step Toward Mainstream Acceptance" (web page). New York Times online. Archived from the original on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  2. ^ Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. "METI Editors" (web page). Bringham Young University. Archived from the original on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  3. ^ Berman,, Timothy (June 22, 2012). "Professor Daniel C. Peterson is dismissed as editor of mormon studies review". Marysville LDS Church Examiner (Examiner.com). 
  4. ^ a b Stack, Peggy Fletcher (April 25, 2013). "Professor Daniel C. Peterson is dismissed as editor of mormon studies review" (web page). The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  5. ^ "Mormon Discussions". Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mormon Scholars Testify". Retrieved 30 October 2013. [non-primary source needed]
  7. ^ "Ex-LDS Members". Ex-Mormon Scholars Testify. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  8. ^ Peterson, Daniel C. "Daniel C. Peterson Testimony". Mormon Scholars Testify. Retrieved 30 October 2013. [better source needed]
  9. ^ Reavy, Pat (November 30, 2009), "Witnesses describe Mitchell as intelligent but controlling", Deseret News [better source needed]
  10. ^ "A Disgusting Joke?". Salt Lake City Messenger. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. June 1994. Retrieved 30 October 2013. [unreliable source?]

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