Times and Seasons is excited this week to present to you a roundtable series review of Grant Hardy’s recent book Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide (Oxford 2010). The upcoming posts will not only acquaint you with book itself, but also provide our opinionated responses, and of course, allow you all to join in the fray. Best of all, Brother Hardy has agreed to participate in a 12 Questions Interview that will cap off the whole affair.
To begin, for those of you not already familiar, we want to introduce the author himself.
Dr. Grant Hardy is currently Professor of History and Religious Studies and the Director of the Humanities Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After serving a mission in Taiwan he earned his B.A. in Ancient Greek at BYU followed by a PhD in Classical Chinese Language and Literature from Yale University.
Professor Hardy is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for both his teaching and scholarship. In his current post he received the 2002 Distinguished Teacher Award for the Arts and Humanities Faculty, and he was named to a Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship for 2009-2010. He is also the recipient of a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Professor Hardy has published Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo: Sima Qian’s Conquest of History (Columbia 1999); The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (Greenwood 2005); and the first volume of the Oxford History of Historical Writing (Oxford 2011). In addition, he has written or revised a majority of the articles on imperial China for the World Book Encyclopedia. Recently he recorded 36 lectures for The Teaching Company in a course entitled Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition.
Fortunately for us, Brother Hardy has also long been involved in Mormon Studies. He’s currently serving as co-editor of the Journal of the Book of Mormon Studies and Other Restoration Scripture. You can find 11 articles or chapters written by Brother Hardy on the Neal A. Maxwell Institute website, and he wrote the Introduction for Royal Skousen’s The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. Also, as a clear forerunner to Understanding the Book of Mormon, Hardy published The Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Edition (University of Illinois Press 2003), which reformats the text of the Book of Mormon into a style similar to contemporary editions of the Bible. He is currently working on several upcoming publications related to the Book of Mormon.
Finally, I know he wouldn’t be comfortable with any biographical introduction that didn’t mention his wife Heather, who is, as he’s stated elsewhere, the source of his best ideas and also his most critical and constructive editor. Together they have raised two children.
Again, we’re excited to have you join us for a week covering this important new book and talking with its author.