Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Church Newsroom Responds to Gopnik Article in The New Yorker

I shall be continuing with my own series on this blog concerning Adam Gopnik's hatchet job of an article on the Church. In the meantime, however, I thought readers would be interested in reading the Church's response to Gopnik's article on its Newsroom site.

The Church has a Newsroom blog, "Mormonism in the News | Getting it Right," updated pretty much every business day; it's worth checking daily, as the blog reviews recent publications in print and online. In the "Getting It Wrong" section of the post for August 10th, we read the following:

Getting It Wrong

The New Yorker: Exclusively secular lens fails to understand faith traditions and Mormonism on its own terms

Adam Gopnik’s 5,200-word essay on Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon assumes a secular world view that largely fails to consider religion, let alone Mormonism, on its own terms. In spite of the potential to explore the history, doctrine, or social and cultural settings behind The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a balanced way, this article emerges as another politicized and overly simplistic treatment of religion. This bias, readily manifest in comments like labeling Mormonism a “strange faith,” calling the Book of Mormon and sacred texts “[so] boring [that they] could have been inspired only by the breath of God” and with blanket assertions about Latter-day Saints’ lack of “critical intelligence,” among other glib quips, prevents Gopnik from offering a more thoughtful analysis of what Mormonism is about and why it persists today.

Perhaps measured and balanced analysis, however, is not the intent of this style of essay; but readers would benefit from considering the Church’s own position on such themes as revelation or doctrine or fiscal self-sufficiency. The totalizing statements and reductive summaries of faith traditions in general, shortchange what could’ve been a good platform for furthering the dialogue and understanding of the Mormon faith.

(End of quote)

Well put, in my opinion. I'll have more to say about Gopnik's article in forthcoming posts.

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