I’m excited to announce that the newest issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought features an article by yours truly and fellow DR editor Allen Hansen. The piece is titled ““All Things Unto Me Are Spiritual”: Worship Through Corporeality in Hasidism and Mormonism.” As we explain in the introduction,
[W]e seek to draw useful parallels between Hasidic Judaism and Mormonism by presenting the former’s concept of “worship through corporeality” as a theologically rich source for understanding and describing Mormonism’s materialist merging of heaven and earth, sacred and mundane. If, as one scholar has stated, “an examination of other revival movements and their characteristics will also provide a new background against that which is distinctive in Hasidism will stand out in clear relief,” the same holds true for the study of early Mormonism. In this paper, we will outline Hasidism’s concept of “worship through corporeality” and its roots in Enochian folklore. We will also briefly touch on the Mussar movement’s connection to these Enoch stories and how it shaped their ethics and worldview. Finally, we will explore multiple sources throughout early Mormonism that similarly demonstrate an overlap of the spiritual and temporal in the minds of many Saints, leading them to view their labors as sacred tasks in the building of Zion (pgs. 59-60).
It’s a relief to finally see this in print. The seeds of it were sown with a comment by Allen on a 2013 post at The Slow Hunch. The idea eventually became a two–part blog post at Worlds Without End, which evolved into a presentation at the 2014 conference for the Mormon Transhumanist Association and later the 2015 Faith & Knowledge conference. It sat at Dialogue for a long time due to management changes. We withdrew it and submitted to BYU Studies Quarterly, which deemed it “too specialized and not right for a large enough segment of our target audience.” So we resubmitted a more focused version to Dialogue, much to the enthusiastic support of the editor.
And now, at long last, it’s here. Enjoy!