Mapping Book of Mormon Historicity Debates: Historical and Social Perspectives This presentation is designed to orient attendees in the debates over whether the Book of Mormon is an ancient document. This presentation identifies historical developments that affect how and when this debate has unfolded and applies theoretical frameworks from the sociology of knowledge to explain how identification with different groups-including, potentially, the LDS Church, other religious communities, and scholarly discourse communities-influences a person’s convictions about Book of Mormon historicity. I argue that how someone assesses the evidence for and against Book of Mormon historicity is fundamentally a question of how well socialized that person is into the Church. In other words, belief or disbelief in Book of Mormon historicity has less to do with intellectual issues per se than with the quality of a person’s relationships with Latter-day Saints as compared to investments in other social groups.
John-Charles Duffy, Van Hale