Joseph Smith in Hermeneutical Crisis

Joseph Smith in Hermeneutical Crisis Marvin Hill argued that early Mormonism was a flight from American religious pluralism. This presentation puts a finer point on Hill’s thesis by arguing that Joseph Smith felt that American religious pluralism resulted from a breakdown in the perspicuity (or clarity) of the Bible. I suggest that Smith regarded hermeneutical (or interpretive) pluralism as an imminent threat to the coherence of his family and of American society and the Restoration was an attempt to resolve this crisis by restoring the Bible’s perspicuity.

Christopher Smith, Kevin Barney