The FARMS Review was published continuously under a variety of titles from 1989 until 2011. Under the direction of editor Daniel C. Peterson, it featured book reviews, review essays, and commentary on a variety of topics of interest to Latter-day Saints. The Review debuted in 1989 as the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon. It was the first periodical ever published by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The Review not only reviewed publications about the Book of Mormon, but also included original articles intended to advance academic studies of the Book of Mormon generally. In 1994 it transitioned from annual to biannual publication.
In 1996 it was renamed the FARMS Review of Books, reflecting its increasing focus on “other topics relevant to the interests and training of those affiliated with FARMS” in addition to the Book of Mormon.1 It continued publication as FARMS became an official part of Brigham Young University in 1998.
The periodical was renamed The FARMS Review in 2003. In addition to traditional book reviews and lengthier review essays—including frequent “responses to secular and sectarian anti-Mormon literature”2—the Review also began including brief book notes.
By 2006, FARMS and several other BYU initiatives were part of the new Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. As FARMS was gradually absorbed by the Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, The FARMS Review title began to seem like “a fossil reminder of [an] earlier stage of the history of the organization.”3 As a reflection of the growing attention given to Mormon studies in academia more broadly, The FARMS Review was renamed the Mormon Studies Review in 2011.4 Peterson’s editorship concluded with volume 23, issue 1 (2011).
From 1989 to 2011, Peterson oversaw the publication of thirty-nine individual issues of the Review containing over 750 articles written by more than two hundred contributors representing a wide range of disciplinary interests.
In 2013 the Mormon Studies Review resumed as an annual publication under the direction of its new editor, Spencer Fluhman. Reflecting the change in editorship, the Mormon Studies Review has been given its own home on our website here.
1. Daniel C. Peterson, “Editor’s Introduction: Triptych (Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch),” FARMS Review of Books 8/1 (1996): v.
3. Daniel C. Peterson, “Editor’s Introduction: ‘To Cheer, to Raise, to Guide’: Twenty-Two Years of the FARMS Review,” Mormon Studies Review 23/1 (2011): xvi.
4. See Peterson, Ibid., and M. Gerald Bradford, “The Study of Mormonism: A Growing Interest in Academia,” The FARMS Review 19/1 (2007): 119-74.