News: Emeritus Professor Publishes Work in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought

Larry Foster

Posted December 14, 2020

Larry Foster, Emeritus Professor of History in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech, recently published “Why the Prophet is a Puzzle: The Challenge of using Psychological Perspectives to Understand the Character and Motivation of Joseph Smith, Jr.,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 53, no.2 (Summer 2020): 1-35.

The article may be of interest to a larger audience because Joseph Smith’s life was used by Max Weber in developing his influential theories about the nature and pitfalls of charismatic leadership. Foster argues that Joseph Smith’s narcissistic personality helps explain many of the most puzzling aspects of his career, including his grandiosity, his sub rosa introduction of the practice of a form of polygamy among his top leadership cadre in Illinois and his eventual murder. 

Read the article here