A new book available through the Institute, Covenant and Chosenness in Judaism and Mormonism, edited by Raphael Jospe, Truman G. Madsen, and Seth Ward (University of Denver, 2001), presents the theological views of Latter-day Saint and Jewish scholars on the concepts of covenant and chosenness in both communities.
Those concepts resonate deeply in both Mormon and Jewish traditions, writes Seth Ward in the introduction, and represent enduring interpretations of scriptural texts and promises, ever present in themes of divine worship and liturgy.
First delivered at a scholarly conference at the University of Denver in 1998, the 10 papers treat such subjects as the biblical foundations of chosenness (election), Sabbath observance, Joseph Smith's teachings on the stages of covenant, covenant in the Book of Mormon, temple worship, and covenant and chosenness in postmodern Jewish thought. A helpful appendix surveys Jewish writings on Mormonism and Mormon writings on Jews and Judaism.
Though not intended as a comprehensive analysis, Covenant and Chosenness offers insightful comparisons between the two religious traditions. While we ought not gloss over [significant] differences, writes Andrew Skinner, still it is profound similarities, parallels, and commonalities between the two groups that are most striking and noteworthy within the Judeo-Christian sphere of belief systems.
The LDS contributors to the volume are Brigham Young University scholars Susan Easton Black, Truman G. Madsen, Daniel C. Peterson, Stephen D. Ricks, and Andrew C. Skinner. Representing the Jewish community are scholars Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Neil Gillman, Raphael Jospe, Menachem Kellner, and Seth Ward.
The conference, titled Covenant and Chosenness in Judaism and Mormonism, was sponsored by the University of Denver's Center for Judaic Studies, with support from the Ensign Foundation, BYU, and FARMS.