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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 16, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 01Aug00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Publishers Weekly Negative on Book About Jews & Mormons

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Publisher's Weekly doesn't think much about a new book about Jews and Mormons. "Jews and Mormons: Two Houses of Israel" by LDS convert Frank J. Johnson and Jew Willaim J. Leffler tries to do for Mormons and Jews what the outstanding 1997 book "How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation" did for Mormons and Evangelicals.

Johnson and Leffler were Dartmouth roommates, according to Publishers Weekly, but the magazine complains that their 'conversation' never gets to the level of the earlier book for Mormons and Evangelicals because "the writing is mediocre and because the authors lack the fundamental attitude of interfaith respect that characterized the earlier work."

In the book, the authors review the history, theologies and basic practices of their respective religions, and then focus on areas of common misunderstanding. One of the areas of misunderstanding explored is the LDS Church's performance of baptisms for the dead for holocaust victims, which became controversial when discovered by the New York publication Forward.

Publishers Weekly also complains that the book suffers from a "stilted, impersonal tone," noting that the authors refer to each other as "Mr. Johnson" and "Rabbi Leffler" despite a friendship of more than 50 years. PW also complains that Johnson never tells why he joined the LDS Church 30 years ago.

Jews and Mormons: Two Houses of Israel
Publishers Weekly pg61 10Jul00 A2
By Jana Riess


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See also: More about "Jews and Mormons: Two Houses of Israel" at

How Wide the Divide More about "How Wide the Divide: A Mormon &Evangelical in Conversation" at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information