Mormon scholar: 'Book of Mormon' like a fun-house mirror
June 28th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Mormon scholar: 'Book of Mormon' like a fun-house mirror

(CNN)–Prof. Richard Bushman shares his insight in CNN's "In the Arena" off-set interview on how the award-winning Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, is not the best insight to Mormon beliefs.

He teaches courses on Mormonism in its broad social and cultural context and on the history of religion in America. Bushman has taken an active part in explaining Mormonism to a broad public and in negotiating the tensions between Mormonism and modern culture. An emeritus professor at Columbia University, he received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard.

Among his books is the biography, “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.” He also serves as one of three general editors of the Joseph Smith Papers.

Prof. Bushman, the character of Elder Price, an American Mormon missionary in modern-day Uganda, questions his faith, but regains it while performing the song, “I Believe.” He sings, “I believe that God has a plan for all of us. / I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet.” Is that lyric based in Mormon belief?

I have been living in California and Utah for the past year while the musical "The Book of Mormon” has been packing the house on Broadway. I have not seen the show, but I have read endless reviews, listened to parts of the score, and talked with Mormon friends who have seen it. Based on what I have heard, and the lyrics of Elder Price’s song, the musical gets a lot of laughs, but it is not meant to explain Mormon beliefs.

Read more about Bushman's views on the 'The Book of Mormon'
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Movies • Theater

June 13th, 2011
02:45 PM ET

The Book of Mormon wins big at Tony Awards

The stars of Broadway talk about performing on stage in front of live audiences day in and day out.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Mormonism • Theater

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.