When Souls Had Wings – Givens and Preexistence

I’ve been having a look at Terryl Givens’ latest effort: on preexistence in western thought. So far it seems to be quite good. The index might be improved a bit. Also, I hate endnotes as a rule and especially in a book of this sort. Givens is not averse to expanding on his text in the endnotes and it makes it annoying to thumb back to the back of book. This of course is a common complaint, and perhaps represents a policy of Oxford. One other complaint is a lack of bibliography. In my ideal world, for this book I want a bibliographic essay as well as a compact bibliography. Givens cites plenty of secondary sources, and I want to know what he thinks of them. These however are structural criticisms and involve things over which an author sometimes has less or possibly little control.

My major interest in the book is his section on the 19th century and when I get through that I will mention in more detail what I think of it.

So far, the book has been well worth the cost, and fills a void in this area which has been dominated by polemics for a few thousand years.

The relevance to Joseph’s funeral sermons I think is obvious.


7 Responses to When Souls Had Wings – Givens and Preexistence

  1. Chris H. says:

    So, is it available on the general market? I have been dying to get it. Thanks.

  2. boaporg says:

    Yes, it is available now from Oxford (or Amazon, or Deseret Book I believe).

  3. Ben Pratt says:

    This is good news. Thanks.

  4. boaporg says:

    I meant to say in the OP that I much prefer footnotes to endnotes.

  5. Matt W. says:

    I’m looking forward to this. I was curious as to whether it Focuses on Mormonism or expands to other religions.

  6. boaporg says:

    Overtly, it spends rather little time with Mormons, but the categories sometimes seem driven at least a little by Mormon discourse. That could be me reading in something that isn’t there of course.

  7. Chris H. says:

    Matt W.:

    From the Givens lecture I attended about this project it seems that he is bringing in a wide range of religious, but also philosophical and literary traditions in on the topic. I particularly remember him discussing Kant, but that is because references to Kant stick out to me.

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