Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon AcademicSalt Lake City, UT
: University of Utah Press
Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic
"When the intellectual history of late-twentieth-century Mormonism is written," begins Richard Bushman in the foreword to this memoir, "Armand Mauss will occupy a preeminent position." For this reason alone, Mauss's reminiscences should be of interest to any serious student of Mormonism.
Mauss takes his title from the following quote by Neal A. Maxwell: "The LDS scholar has his citizenship in the Kingdom, but carries his passport into the professional world—not the other way around." But Mauss's observation that the borders have shifted over time and his passport is tattered reminds us that travel between the Church and the world is rarely a pleasure trip, especially for those who make the commute frequently. "Not only has the intellectual establishment in Athens sometimes seemed wary of accepting my passport when I have entered as a scholar in religious (especially Mormon) studies," Mauss observes, "but I have often found suspicion about the authenticity of my passport even when I have tried to negotiate it in Jerusalem itself—in the Mormon ecclesiastical kingdom."