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The allegory of the olive tree : a case study for (neo) structuralist analysis.

Kunin, S. D. (2003) 'The allegory of the olive tree : a case study for (neo) structuralist analysis.', Religion., 33 (2). pp. 105-125.


The Book of Mormon presents a fascinating opportunity to test aspects of structuralist analysis of myth and culture. This article examines some of the key issues in structuralist theory and attempts to develop some new avenues of structuralist analysis, particularly in relation to agency and transformation. Although in some sense these avenues can be seen as challenging principles of traditional structuralism, the changes suggested are more refinements than significant alterations. The article then tests these theories in relation to a series of very complex allegories in the Book of Mormon. This discussion both demonstrates the analytical power of the approach and raises some interesting ethnographic issues, particularly the presence of triadic rather than dyadic structure. In order to add a diachronic aspect to the discussion and to examine process of transformation between cultures, the article touches on the use of similar allegories in the New Testament and in Intertestamental literature.

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Record Created:02 Apr 2007
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:29

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