Deseret Book’s Mormon Life Web site has added a new featured titled BYU Studies Corner. The first posting is Mormonism and Mozart’s Magic Flute by James T. Summerhays. The article is related to a Nov. 16 panel discussion on “The Magic Flute: Mozart, Meanings, and Mormons” hosted by BYU Studies that featured several BYU faculty members — including my former German instructor and home teaching companion (and now BYU professor) Rob McFarland and Mormon literature professor extraordinaire Gideon Burton.
The event represents an actual move to market the current issue of BYU Studies which is devoted to the Magic Flute. I need to get my hands on it because, as far as I know, it marks the first extended, multi-author discussion of a great work of world literature in terms of/in relation to Mormonism. One of my interests is in using Mormonism as a basis for aesthetic theory so hopefully this represents a postive step in that direction.
For those unfamiliar with The Magic Flute, Mozart worked Masonic themes and symbols heavily into the work. The LDS temple ceremony contains similar elements and thus the interest in The Magic Flute among Mormons.