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Joseph Spencer

Joseph Spencer

Assistant Professor
Ancient Scripture

270R JSB
Provo, UT 84602

Biography

Joseph M. Spencer is a philosopher and an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He has degrees from Brigham Young University, San Jose State University, and the University of New Mexico, having earned his PhD in philosophy from the last institution in 2015. He is the author of four books (most recently 1st Nephi: A Brief Theological Introduction), the coeditor of four collections of essays, and the author or coauthor more than fifty articles and book chapters. His work focuses on philosophy, theology, and scripture. Professor Spencer serves as the editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, as the associate director of the Latter-day Saint Theology Seminar, and as a coeditor for two different book series, Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture (published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute) and Introductions to Mormon Thought (published by the University of Illinois Press). He and Karen, his wife, live with their five children in Provo, Utah.

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Philosophy , institution ( 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31 )
  • Masters of Arts, Philosophy , institution ( 2012-01-01 - 2012-12-31 )
  • Masters of Library and Information Science, Library Science , institution ( 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 )
  • Bachelors of Arts, Philosophy , institution ( 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31 )

Memberships

  • Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: ( - Present)
  • Society of Biblical Literature: ( - Present)
  • American Philosophical Association: ( - Present)
  • Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology: ( - Present)
  • Association of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities: ( - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Editor, Associate Editor, University of Illinois Press, 2018-02-01 - 2018-02-28 - Present
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 2017-06-01 - 2017-06-30 - Present
  • Officer (specify in Other), Mormon Theology Seminar, 2013-10-01 - 2013-10-31 - Present
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2013-06-01 - 2013-06-30 - Present
  • Officer (specify in Other), Book of Mormon Studies Association, 2018-10-01 - 2018-10-31 - 2021-10-01 - 2021-10-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Brief Theological Introductions to the Book of Mormon, 2019-03-01 - 2019-03-31 - 2020-05-01 - 2020-05-31
  • Officer (specify in Other), Mormon Scholars in the Humanities, 2018-05-01 - 2018-05-31 - 2019-05-01 - 2019-05-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Brigham Young University College of Religious Education, 2017-07-01 - 2017-07-31 - 2017-12-01 - 2017-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Book of Mormon Studies Association, 2016-07-01 - 2016-07-31 - 2017-10-01 - 2017-10-31
  • Officer (specify in Other), Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, 2015-10-01 - 2015-10-31 - 2017-10-01 - 2017-10-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 2013-08-01 - 2013-08-31 - 2017-06-01 - 2017-06-30
  • Officer (specify in Other), Association of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities, 2015-03-01 - 2015-03-31 - 2017-03-01 - 2017-03-31
  • Conference-Related Role, University of New Mexico Student Conference, - 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, - 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Mormon Theology Seminar, - 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, University of New Mexico Student Conference, - 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Salt Press, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Board Member, Mormon Theology Seminar, 2008-09-01 - 2008-09-30 - 2013-10-01 - 2013-10-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy, - 2012-01-01 - 2012-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Mormon Theology Seminar, - 2010-01-01 - 2010-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Scriptural Theology, - 2010-01-01 - 2010-12-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31
  • Conference-Related Role, Mormon Theology Seminar, - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31

Courses Taught

2020

  • PSYCH 430R: Section 017
  • REL A 275 : Section 016
  • REL A 275 : Section 018
  • REL A 327 : Section 003
  • REL A 327 : Section 005
  • REL A 392R: Section 003
  • REL A 275 : Section 014
  • REL A 275 : Section 020
  • REL A 327 : Section 003
  • REL A 327 : Section 004

2019

  • REL A 275 : Section 010
  • REL A 275 : Section 012
  • REL A 275 : Section 017
  • REL A 275 : Section 002
  • REL A 275 : Section 007
  • REL A 275 : Section 012
  • REL A 275 : Section 027

2018

  • REL A 275 : Section 002
  • REL A 275 : Section 011
  • REL A 275 : Section 013
  • REL A 275 : Section 023
  • REL A 275 : Section 006
  • REL A 275 : Section 015
  • REL A 122 : Section 021

2017

  • REL A 275 : Section 011
  • REL A 275 : Section 022
  • REL A 121 : Section 001
  • REL A 121 : Section 006
  • REL A 121 : Section 009
  • REL A 122 : Section 030
  • REL A 122 : Section 031

2016

  • REL A 121 : Section 009
  • REL A 121 : Section 042
  • REL A 121 : Section 043
  • REL A 121 : Section 012
  • REL A 121 : Section 013
  • REL A 122 : Section 038

2015

  • REL A 121 : Section 001
  • REL A 121 : Section 043
  • REL A 122 : Section 011
  • REL A 122 : Section 019
  • REL A 121 : Section 013

2013

  • PHIL 350R: Section 001
  • REL A 121 : Section 009

Publications

  • Spencer JM. October (4th Quarter/Autumn), 2008. Taking Grace for Granted: A Roundabout Review of Adam Miller's Immanent Grace. 2nd ed.

Presentations

  • Spencer JM. The Shape of Nephite Universalism: Notes on Nehor. Book of Mormon Studies Association. October, 2020.
  • Spencer JM. "A Revelation I Give unto You": The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Emma Smith. How and What You Worship: Christology and Praxis in the Revelations of Joseph Smith . October, 2020.
  • Spencer JM. How to Write Up a Revelation: Some Advice from Nephi. Latter-day Saint Arts Festival (Canceled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic). June, 2020.
  • Johnson JL, Spencer JM. Book of Mormon Studies State of the Field. MHA Digital Conference. June, 2020.
  • Spencer JM. Hereby: Heidegger and Austin. Heidegger’s Phenomenology of Religious Life (Canceled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic). March, 2020.
  • Spencer JM. Faith of an Observer: Francois Laruelle and (Latter-day Saint) Theology. American Academy of Religion. November, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. The Gnosis Shall Be Taken Away: Hugh Nibley, Gnosticism, and 1 Corinthians 13. Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. Virgins, Harlots, Brides, and Queens: Women in the Prophetic Texts of First Nephi. Book of Mormon Studies Association. October, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. Women and Nephite Men: Lessons from the Book of Alma. Give Ear to My Words: Text and Context of Alma 36-42. October, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. From This World to Where God Is. Given Thee by My Spirit: Reading D&C 25. June, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. The Theological Foundations of Hugh Nibley's Environmental Thought. Ecologies. May, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. Whereby: Notes from the Field. Ecologies. May, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. Terryl Givens and Book of Mormon Studies. Mormon Studies Program at Claremont Graduate University. April, 2019.
  • Spencer JM. "Is Not This Real?". Reason for Hope. November, 2018.
  • Huntsman ED, Shreiber M, ud-Din S, Spencer JM, Underwood GR. Social Justice: Texts and Traditions. Social Justice Panel. What do the sacred texts of the major monotheistic faiths say about questions that today are considered issues of social justice? Are there teachings in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Qur’an that teach us how to treat the socially vulnerable, the strangers in our midst, and the poor? Panel Maeera Shreiber, associate professor of English, University of Utah Eric D Huntsman, professor of ancient scripture, BYU Shuaib ud-Din, imam, Utah Islamic Center Joseph Spencer, assistant professor of ancient scripture, BYU Moderator Grant Underwood, Richard L Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, BYU . November, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. The Book of Mormon. Social Justice: Texts and Traditions. November, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "The Apocalypse in the Context of Early Mormonism". Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "The Book of Mormon's Use of Isaiah 53". Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "Mothers, Daughters, Wives, and Women: Notes on Gender in First Nephi". Book of Mormon Studies Association. October, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "The King and His Poor". Are We Not All Beggars? Reading Mosiah 4. June, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "What Is the Structure of Nephi's Record, and Why Does It Matter?". The Book of Mormon in Zion. April, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. "Laughing at Ourselves: On Comedy and Grace". Humor. March, 2018.
  • Spencer JM. A Mormon Reads A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon. A Roundtable Discussion of John Christopher Thomas, A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon. November, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. An Outline of Mormon Biblical Theology. Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. Toward a Methodology for the Theological Interpretation of the Book of Mormon. Book of Mormon Studies: Toward a Conversation. October, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. Mormon Theology. Defining and Refining the Scholar of Faith: A Workshop for Mormon Scholars in the Humanities. June, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. On the Use and Abuse of Isaiah for Prophecy. God Himself Shall Come Down: Reading Mosiah 15. June, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. Shame's Wisdom: Notes on Stewardship. Wisdom. May, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. Toward a Nephite Pneumatology. Poured Out Upon Us: The Holy Spirit. March, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. Concluding Remarks. Faith and Knowledge. February, 2017.
  • Spencer JM. The Structure of First Nephi and Why It Matters. Friday Faculty Forum. November, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. Biblical Contributions to the Book of Mormon’s Presentation of Gender. Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. Cross and Shame: Theorizing a Book of Mormon Theme. Christ, Our Forerunner. October, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. On Theological Introductions. Christ, Our Forerunner. October, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. Brown Bag Presentations. August, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. Seams, Cracks, and Fragments: Notes on the Human Condition. A Preparatory Redemption: Reading Jacob 13. June, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. Isaiah 52 in the Book of Mormon: Notes on Isaiah’s Reception History. Pacific Northwest Regional Meetings. May, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. The Age of the Oath’s Eclipse: An Agambenian Reading of Modernity’s Malaise. Secularisms. April, 2016.
  • Spencer JM. The Book of Mormon as Biblical Interpretation: An Approach to LDS Biblical Studies. Society for Biblical Literature. November, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. "As Though, As Though Not": Time, Being, and Negation. Doers of the Word: Belief and Practice. October, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. What Can Desperation Teach Us about Hope?. Philosophy Club. October, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. The Moral Stakes of Philosophy’s History. Faith Seeking Understanding. July, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. Weeping for Zion. Christ and Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7. June, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. On the Existential and the Messianic. Messianicities. April, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. Badiou and Frege: Two Conceptions of Truth. Philosophy at the Boundaries. April, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. Amorous Hope: On the Adequacy of Jean-Luc Marion’s Principle of Insufficient Reason. Breached Horizons: The Work of Jean-Luc Marion. March, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. Sadducees and Then Some: Outlining a New Apostasy Narrative. Faith and Knowledge . February, 2015.
  • Spencer JM. What Desperation Reveals about the Nature of Hope. Northwest Philosophy Conference. November, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. Why Should Lehi’s Hearers Respond with Violence to His Message of the Messiah? Historical and Theological Suggestions. A Dream, a Rock, and a Pillar of Fire: Reading 1 Nephi 1. June, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. Mormon Conversion, Christian Conversion: Comparing Conversion Narratives in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. Pacific Northwest Regional Meetings. May, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. Sin. Narrative. March, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. Story and the Sexes: On Badiou’s "Narrative Function". Narrative. March, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. Phi Sigma Tau Meeting. February, 2014.
  • Spencer JM. On a Contemporary Use of Kierkegaard’s Thought: Badiou and the Antiphilosopher. Kierkegaard and the Present Age. November, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Mormon Political Theology. Politics and the Family. November, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Are There Predicates in Zion?. The Atonement. October, 2013.
  • Spencer JM, Mason BM. The Redemption of the Bible: John 10:16 in Third Nephi. The Atonement. October, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. The Book of Mormon as Theological Text. Book of Mormon "Think Tank". August, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. The Meaning of the Book of Mormon. Book of Mormon "Think Tank". August, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Sense and Predication: Husserl and Frege Revisited. Brigham Young University Philosophy Department. August, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. The Trajectory of Analytic Philosophy. Philosophy Club. August, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. "And It Came to Pass ". Mormon Conceptions of the Fall. June, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. The Preacher, the Apostle, and the Patriarch. Mormon Conceptions of the Fall. June, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Salvation, Demythologization, Liberation. Philosophy Graduate Student Association. April, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. A Heideggerian Aesthetics: On Jacques Rancière. Philosophy of Art and Literature. April, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Christ and Krishna: The Visions of Arjuna and the Brother of Jared. The Mystical. March, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Comparative Scripture and the Status of Mormon Theology. The Mystical. March, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Ghostly Words: A Manifesto on Reading the Book of Mormon. Faith and Knowledge . February, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Hope and the Common: Paul’s Economic Radicalism and Its Roots. First Friday. February, 2013.
  • Spencer JM. Immortality or Eternal Life? On the Religious Significance of Atheist Living. First Friday. November, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. Adam Miller, Book of Mormon Theologian. Theology of the Book of Mormon. September, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. What Can We Do? Reflections on 2 Nephi 25:23. Theology of the Book of Mormon. September, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. What Is Book of Mormon Theology?. Theology of the Book of Mormon. September, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. "Serious Disagreements": Badiou and Derrida, Circa 1990. Derrida Today. July, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. Mathematized Truths: Alfred Tarski and Alain Badiou. Continental Philosophy in the Great Basin. June, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. Mormons, Films, Scriptures. Economies and Humanities. May, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. Typology and Messianism in the (Book of) Mormon Experience. Communities and Networks. January, 2012.
  • Spencer JM. Humanism and Anti-Humanism in the Philosophy of Alain Badiou. Beyond Personality. August, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. Not My Idea of Me, But Me. Beyond Personality. August, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. The Self-Conscious Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith Summer Seminar. July, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. Immortality or Eternal Life? On the Religious Significance of Atheist Living. What Is Life? Philosophy, Theology, and Science. June, 2011.
  • Couch RB, Spencer JM. Playing with the Economy: On Badiou’s Lack of a Theory of Political Economy. Badiou, Business, Ethics. May, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. Philosophy’s Return and Liberation’s Prospects: On Alain Badiou. Life, Death, and Liberation: A Conference on Comparative Philosophy. April, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. "I Speak in Tongues More than All of You": Badiou and Agamben on Glossolalia. The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion. April, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. "I Speak in Tongues More than All of You": Badiou and Agamben on Glossolalia. First Friday. March, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. The Messianic Body in the Book of Mormon. Mormonism and Embodiment. March, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. Mormon Theologians are Ordinary Latter-day Saints: On the Neuroses Consequent to being a Mormon in Academia. The Intellectual Prospects of Mormonism: Faith and Knowledge. February, 2011.
  • Spencer JM. Reading the Unwriteable: On the Interpretation of Job 19:23–25a. Mormon Scriptural Theology. October, 2010.
  • Spencer JM. Remnants of Revelation: On the Canonical Reading of D&C 42. Embracing the Law: A Seminar Reading of D&C 42. September, 2010.
  • Spencer JM. Of "Eternal" Gender: Saint Paul on Sexuality. The Family and Human Relationships in History, Literature, Art, and Philosophy. May, 2010.
  • Spencer JM. Subjectivity and Truth: Towards a Basic Mormon "Anthropology". "The Measure of Their Creation": Theological Anthropology. March, 2010.
  • Spencer JM. The Four Discourses of Mormonism: Towards the Thinking of a Uniquely Mormon Hermeneutics. "One Eternal Round": Mormon Literature Past, Present, and Future. February, 2010.
  • Spencer JM. "A Wellcome Messenger": The Development of Parley P Pratt’s Theology of Death. Summer Seminar in Mormon History and Culture. July, 2009.
  • Spencer JM. Alfred Hitchcock in the Legacy Theater: Mormonism, Film, and ‘Religious’ Criticism. Religions and the Practices of Criticism. May, 2009.
  • Spencer JM. Omnipotent Weakness: Toward a Mormon Doctrine of God’s Omnipotence. Upon All Nations: Religious Pluralism. May, 2009.
  • Spencer JM. Nephi, Isaiah, and Europe. Reading Nephi Reading Isaiah: Reading 2 Nephi 26-27. April, 2009.
  • Spencer JM. Faith, Hope, and Charity: Alma and Joseph Smith. An Experiment on the Word: Reading Alma 32. September, 2008.
  • Spencer JM. Thinking the Mormon Hermeneutical Situation: Four Mormon Discourses and the Place of a Uniquely Mormon Hermeneutics. Association of Mormon Scholars in the HumanitiesInterpretation: Latter-day Saint Perspective. May, 2008.
  • Spencer JM. Penser le Livre de Mormon: Towards a Hermeneutics of Conversion. Undergraduate Philosophy and Religion Conference. April, 2004.
  • Spencer JM. Free From All Men: Stoic Influence in the Writings of Saint Paul. Student Society for Ancient Studies. February, 2004.
  • Spencer JM. Plato and Greek Religion: Reading Three Allegories in The Republic. Student Society for Ancient Studies. October, 2003.
  • Spencer JM. Plato and Pythagorean Religion. Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. October, 2003.
Joseph Spencer