Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Margaret Barker on Temple Theology and Mormonism

Following Margaret Barker's lecture, "Our Great High Priest: The Church Is the New Temple," given at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary as the Fr. Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture on January 31, 2012, she addressed a few questions relevant to her discourse and scholarly studies. The second question is of particular interest for Latter-day Saints and is quite complimentary:
Q. "One of the other questions which came about prior to your visit to St. Vladimir's, is a curiosity about why people of the Mormon faith are interested in your work. Maybe, again you could explain their attraction to understanding of temple worship?"
A. "Well, you never know who is going to read your books. And many years ago now, I was contacted by a leading scholar of the Latter-day Saints, and he came to see me when he was in England, and he said, when he read this particular book, The Great Angel, he couldn't believe it hadn't been written by one of their community. And he was intrigued how somebody working outside their community, just using the conventional tools of scholarship, could come up with something very, very similar, unusually identical to their teachings. And we explored this, and I have developed a very happy relationship with many top Mormon scholars, really good Biblical scholars, who know their temple stuff. And what they've come up with, and what I've come up with, is just about identical. So, I work with Mormons because in terms of temple scholarship, they are the best available."
My thanks to Kevin Christensen for referencing this discourse.

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