I’d like to offer congratulations to J. Spencer Fluhman on his appointment as editor of the Mormon Studies Review, and to the rest of the editorial advisory board that has been selected to oversee the journal.
How excited I am for Dr. Fluhman. It’s all his fault that I abandoned classics for American church history. From my journal:
Thursday, February 20, 2003
I needed to know more about early anti-Mormonism. I asked [my BoM teacher] if he knew of anyone in the department who might be particularly knowledgeable of that, and he said no. I asked [Roger] Keller yesterday in class, and he said maybe Don Cannon, although he wasn’t sure. But [a personal friend of mine] said his D&C teacher, Bro. Fluhman, was doing his Doctoral dissertation on anti-Mormonism in the 1800’s. Bingo
I went and spoke to Bro. Fluhman today, and not only was he enormously helpful, but I enjoyed the conversation and I was very impressed by him. In some ways he reminded me of [Eric] Huntsman. Of course, he was capable of telling me more about the subject than I ever could have cared to know. He gave me some good ideas for my paper.
But, perhaps more importantly, he was very encouraging. He made me believe that [the book I was working on at the time] actually has a chance of being published. He also talked to me about doing American Religious History for my master’s. The thought has honestly never occurred to me. But I will keep it in mind.
I am finally finishing my master’s degree in American religious history this year with a thesis on the history of Mormon exaltation. I was tempted to write to Dr. Fluhman and ask him to come clean up his mess—I mean, serve on my thesis committee—but I asked Maxine Hanks instead.
I never published a book on Mormonism for evangelicals (sadly, no publishers were interested in having a nobody evangelical undergraduate write another book on Mormonism), and since then Ross Anderson has published something similar to what I had in mind. However, I am slated to contribute to Evangelicalism for Mormons with Greg Kofford books later this year.
In addition to being a top-notch scholar, Dr. Fluhman has also participated in interfaith dialogues with Greg Johnson’s Standing Together Ministries, demonstrating his willingness and ability to consider the perspectives of others. I don’t agree with everything he writes (Spencer, dear, someday we need to have a chat about that NY Times article you wrote last year…) but I am eternally grateful for his positive influence on my life, and I believe the Maxwell Institute has made a very fine choice in its newest editor, and in its new editorial advisory board. Well done.
I did notice when I first read the MI announcement that there were no biblical scholars on the list, although Grant Hardy has expressed elsewhere that he has some interest and expertise in ancient and biblical studies. I wonder if this signals that ancient Scripture studies will now be limited to Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture and Studies in the Bible and Antiquity. I am content to wait and see.