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Standing ApartMormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy$
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Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199348138.001.0001

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James Talmage, B. H. Roberts, and Confessional History in a Secular Age

James Talmage, B. H. Roberts, and Confessional History in a Secular Age

(p.77) 3 James Talmage, B. H. Roberts, and Confessional History in a Secular Age
Standing Apart

Matthew Bowman

Oxford University Press

This chapter contextualizes the church histories produced by two of Mormonism’s public figures and leaders, B. H. Roberts and James E. Talmage, in the context of the historiography of early twentieth-century Protestant America. It describes Roberts and Talmage navigating the tensions among the competing philosophies and methodologies of German-influenced “scientific historians” and romantic American historians like other church historians of the period. Yet Roberts and Talmage also looked to older Enlightenment histories as models for their “confessional histories,” adapting a form popular among Protestant clerics that linked sacred and secular dimensions of the past and present into an ongoing providential narrative.

Keywords:   B. H. Roberts, James E. Talmage, George Bancroft, Francis Parkman, Philip Schaff, Johann von Mosheim, Joseph Milner, confessional history, Protestant historiography, Progressive Era

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