Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

The Editor's Pages

Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

The Editor's Pages

Article excerpt

It happened again. Some of the articles and reviews in this issue establish connections unintended by writers and editors alike. I expected a thoughtful review of David Grimsted's book from Illinois Wesleyan's Professor James Simeone, but was surprised and pleased when it began with a discussion of Grimsted's earlier book on the American theater. Apart from its intrinsic interest, this further enriches Benjamin McArthur's article on the Jefferson family of actors in Springfield, and the cultural conflict between those who favored and those who opposed theatrical entertainment. There is a similar cross-fertilization between Simeone's review and Christopher Waldrep's review essay.

The notes to Timothy L. Wood's "Prophet and Presidency" remind me that the Press of my own University of Illinois has rivaled the publishers of Utah in recent years, in bringing forth many valuable studies of the Mormons. Whether written by believing and practicing Mormons or by "gentiles," as Mormons style outsiders, the overarching trend has been to establish the facts of Mormon history rather than write polemics for or against the Latter-day Saints. For those of us who have not kept up with this new scholarship, Wood's article should be a real eye-opener.

Some of Wood's most interesting material is in his notes, and I would like to comment on the modern version of the Nicene Creed placed there, for the purpose of contrasting traditional Christian belief with Mormon belief. I did not trouble the author about this, because it does not materially affect his article. In Joseph Smith's day, and well into the present century, the "creed commonly called Nicene" was typically presented in a straightforward translation from the section of the Latin Mass, which begins "Credo" o I believe. …

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