Vogel’s provocative work approaches the life and times of Mormonism’s founder from a naturalistic perspective. He attempts to bring into focus several familiar, if murky issues, folk magic, treasure-digging, anti-masonry, and pious fraud, painting a detailed portrait of Joseph Smith as a sincere evangelical who used dubious means to promote faith. Of particular interest is Vogel’s close reading of the Book of Mormon as reflecting Smith’s biography and concerns. In this session, panelists will offer their reactions to Vogel’s challenging and ambitious biography.
Newell G. Bringhurst, Robert D. Anderson, William D. Russell, C. Jess Groesbeck, Dan Vogel