Saturday, June 1, 2013

Book of Mormon: Podcast 02 - "Textual Criticism: The Printed Editions"

This podcast is one part in a series of three lectures given by Dr. Royal Skousen as part of his 25 year magnum opus work on the textual criticism of the Book of Mormon.

About Royal Skousen

          Royal Skousen is Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Brigham Young University. In 1972 he received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He has taught linguistics at the University of Illinois, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at San Diego, and as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Tampere in Finland. In 2001 he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Skousen's work in linguistics has dealt chiefly with developing a theory of language called Analogical Modeling, a theory that predicts language behavior by means of examples rather than by rules.
Skousen has published three books on this subject: Analogical Modeling of Language (1989), Analogy and Structure (1992), and Analogical Modeling: An Exemplar-Based Approach to Language (2002). More recently, he has published on the quantum computation of Analogical Modeling, notably in his 2005 paper "Quantum Analogical Modeling" (available here).
Skousen has been the editor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project since 1988. In 2001, he published the first two volumes of the Critical Text Project, namely, typographical facsimiles for the original and printer's manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. From 2004 through 2009, he published the six books that make up volume 4 of the critical text, Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon. This work represents the central task of the Critical Text Project, to restore by scholarly means the original text of the Book of Mormon, to the extent possible. In 2009, using the results from volume 4, Skousen published with Yale University Press the culmination of his critical work on the Book of Mormon text, namely, The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. The Yale edition presents the reconstructed original text in a clear-text format, without explanatory intervention. Unlike modern editions of the Book of Mormon that have added chapter summaries, scriptural cross-references, dates, and footnotes, this edition consists solely of the words dictated by Joseph Smith in 1828-29, as far as they can be established through standard methods of textual criticism. Later emendations by scribes, editors, and even Joseph Smith himself have been omitted, except for those that appear to restore original readings. Skousen is currently writing volume 3 of the critical text, The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, which will be available in about three years (~2016).
 Skousen has recently accepted the assignment to be one of the editors for the Joseph Smith Papers, along with Robin Jensen, charged with the task of preparing the three volumes that will reproduce photographs and facsimile transcripts for the two manuscripts of the Book of Mormon.
            For those interested, Skousen's vita is available via Brigham Young University here

About this Lecture

The Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center
            This lecture originally took place in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center on the campus of Brigham Young University on Tuesday, March 5th 2013.  The original lecture was accompanied by a powerpoint presentation. 
            The critical text directly compares 20 significant printed editions of the Book of Mormon, with 15 published by the LDS Church, 4 by the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ), and one private edition in 1858 (published in New York City by James Wright).  
          In this review of the printed editions, Skousen will identify the most innovative changes made in each of the significant LDS editions. There will also be a comparison of the LDS and RLDS textual traditions.
          In the last part of the presentation, Skousen will discuss various secular editions published within the last decade, including Grant Hardy’s 2003 A Reader’s Edition (University of Illinois Press), the 2004 Doubleday Edition (with text furnished by the LDS Church), and Royal Skousen’s 2009 The Earliest Text (Yale University Press).
          This information was taken largely from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

Program Schedule

No comments:

Post a Comment

(please note that any profane or inappropriate comments are subject to moderation by the author of the publication. Opposing views are welcomed and encouraged and will not be removed unless inappropriate in nature)