Talk:Mormon studies

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éminences grises[edit]

The use of éminences grises in the section heading for modern influential scholars seems to be less than WP:NPOV. Additionally that term has strong negative connotations/associations (such as with Cardinal Richelieu) and is not the best description of these individual's position/role in Mormon studies. -- (talk) 23:07, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

"Foundational Beliefs" and Debunking...[edit]

As the article stands it seems to me there are two things missing.

From time to time one sees references to "foundational beliefs" of, e.g. Scientologists, Mormons and other groups. The notion seems to be that it doesn't really matter whether these stories are true, it's OK for a religion to operate on an accepted set of beliefs because they "set the stage," so to speak, for what follows.

This seems to me a perfectly sensible way of looking at the many and varied folklores there are around, not all of which, obviously, can be true.

The other set of questions seems to me to surround the question of the debunking of Mormonism, particularly by a variety of aggressive Evangelical Christians who, it would seem to me, perhaps ought to think about glass houses from time to time.

Whatever. The fact remains that the Mormon Book of Abraham is quite clearly a work of fiction (as is, e.g., the Abrahamic religions' Book of Genesis), which doesn't bother me at all, but ought to have its place in the array of subjects for apologetics.

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 08:16, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

List of scholars[edit]

I'm having trouble understanding the criteria for listing in the lists of selected scholars. I've thought of other people that probably should be added (Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, Linda King Newell, Richard E. Bennett, Richard P. Howard, Donald Q. Cannon, William D. Russell, etc.), but I'm concerned about making the list too long, thereby becoming unusable and dominating the article. Why not list all contributors to Mormon studies, including authors on Mormonism, LDS religion professors, and bloggers? Surely they would all add up to hundreds (perhaps thousands). Maybe if through defining the criteria I can understand who belongs and why some are in the selection and some are not.

This seems like the current criteria:

  1. Living go into "current scholars" and dead go into "past scholars"
  2. Scholars, which seems to include:
    • Academics (employed at universities and institutions)
    • Independent researchers
    • Popular commentators (Helen Andelin, Orson Scott Card, Richard Dutcher, John Dehlin, Robert Kirby, Jon Krakauer, journalists).
      • I like some of their works, but are they scholars?
  3. Notable (WP article exists)
    • What about those who are "redirects", without their own article (like Robert S. Clark, Russell Arben Fox, Bradley H. Kramer, Steven L. Peck, Julie Marie Smith, Kaimipono D. Wenger)?
      • I like some of these writers, but should we wait for them to have articles to establish notability?
  4. Contributors to Mormon Studies
    • Large body of work in Mormon issues
      • Books
      • Journals
      • Blogs (should this be weighted less?)
    • Notable figures with isolated Mormon works (Jon Krakauer, William Robert Wright, Brady Udall, Daniel Walker Howe, Robert V. Remini).
      • With limited ventures in MS, do they qualify as MS scholars? Maybe if their isolated work is significant enough?

This is where I'm starting from. I think I'd like to trim this down a bit (see my italicized notes above) and then add a few other heavy weights. If these lists get too long it may need to be spawned into its own list-article. And I'm also not sure how to judge the "of preeminence" list, but I'll leave that for another discussion. ——Rich jj (talk) 20:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. Yeah, we need to come up with an improved rubric to replace that of "preeminent." One that might itself give criterion for its membership? (Say: current or past chairs or otherwise being almost universally recognized as particularly influential/prolific/whatnot.)
  2. Categories for living scholars are currently fairly random and haphazard. Perhaps a single list would be better--and that a shorter one.. yes, paring out such as non-wpbio'ed members and the like?--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 18:25, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Having recently read through a few updates to various people on this list, I am again struck by how subjective this list is. If we were to list any notable contributor to Mormon Studies, then it could be hundreds. So inclusion by itself is subjective, unless it becomes a comprehensive directory. A few promising young scholars are now listed even though they don't yet have many significant publications, while many others who are very similar are not listed. Several who are prominent outside the world of Mormon Studies are listed, possibly because they are well-known and Mormon Studies is honored to have had their one or two contributions. And sub-categorizing is another can of worms, since many scholars fall into multiple categories. Couldn't a preeminent scholar also be a trained historian who has focused on international topics and women's topics? This is too complicated for me to sort it out. I am in favor of moving this into a separate list article. ——Rich jj (talk) 15:15, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Again, I agree List of scholars -- which really should not be considered arbitrary but preliminary -- should be consolidated, moved to its own page, and, ideally, much expanded. It should likely be rendered in a chart format as well.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 01:49, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Upon further reflection I really do think there should be two lists, one [edited: perhaps included in the present article] for the handful of scholars, past and present, who fulfill the criteria at wp:SCHOLAR and secondarily an alphabetical catch-all for all the rest, past and present, [edited: to be included in the new "List of------" article], which, for inclusion prospective members must be determined to pass the basic notability threshold--mostly that of wp:VERIFIABILITY--at wp:BIO.

(I've copied and pasted--with its emphases mine--the basic text at wp:SCHOLAR below.)

Academics/professors meeting any one of the following conditions, as substantiated through reliable sources, are notable. Academics/professors meeting none of these conditions may still be notable if they meet the conditions of WP:BIO or other notability criteria, and the merits of an article on the academic/professor will depend largely on the extent to which it is verifiable. Before applying these criteria, see the General notes and Specific criteria notes sections, which follow.
1. The person's research has made significant impact in their scholarly discipline, broadly construed, as demonstrated by independent reliable sources.
2. The person has received a highly prestigious academic award or honor at a national or international level.
3. The person is or has been an elected member of a highly selective and prestigious scholarly society or association (e.g., a National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society) or a fellow of a major scholarly society for which that is a highly selective honor (e.g., the IEEE).
4. The person's academic work has made a significant impact in the area of higher education, affecting a substantial number of academic institutions.
5. The person holds or has held a named chair appointment or distinguished professor appointment at a major institution of higher education and research (or an equivalent position in countries where named chairs are uncommon).
6. The person has held a highest-level elected or appointed academic post at a major academic institution or major academic society.
7. The person has made substantial impact outside academia in their academic capacity.
8. The person is or has been the head or chief editor of a major, well-established academic journal in their subject area.
9. The person is in a field of literature (e.g., writer or poet) or the fine arts (e.g., musician, composer, artist), and meets the standards for notability in that art, such as WP:CREATIVE or WP:MUSIC.

Would such an approach satisfy the arbitrariness Rich jj mentioned?--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 20:07, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
On even further reflection, I suppose with the addition of a speculative theologian like Miller we're really opening a can of worms unless we include any published author at Deseret and Bookcraft. That said, if these guys get WP articles, I'd say, go for it. But we'd simply need to have a separate list (with some overlap) that distinguishes devotional and/or lay theological writing from Mormon studies proper, eh?--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 21:33, 22 October 2016 (UTC) Re-edited Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 00:55, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

E/g - How many of these folks are already listed?[edit]

At least the ones among them that are not red linked and who write/research etc. w/rgd LDS movement topics (for another random sampling)

Possible "leading scholars" inclusions[edit]

Might include (at least per a passing comment by Davis Bitton LINK?):

more about history of Mormon studies?[edit]

Hi, some of my librarian co-workers requested that I help improve this page. I had my student worker update some of the descriptions on the list, but I think the page would be even more useful if it contained some kind of description about the history of Mormon studies. Do you agree, and do you have sources you'd recommend for this? We have some books, but if you happen to know of a good source for the history of people writing about Mormon history, I'd be much obliged. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 15:03, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Might be some already linked at the article's Further reading section. Maybe one of the Mormon studies programs has literature for entry-level scholars that would help - to be emailed to you if it wouldn't be not on-line?

(Ditto regarding material about various experts' takes as to what parameters Mormon studies has (or else should have).).Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 22:28, 24 October 2016 (UTC)