The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844

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9780521345453: The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844
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Mormon religious belief has long been a mystery to outsiders, either dismissed as anomalous to the American religious tradition or extolled as the most genuine creation of the American imagination. The Refiner's Fire presents a new and comprehensive understanding of the roots of Mormon religion, whose theology promises the faithful that they will become "gods" through the restoration of ancient mysteries and regain the divine powers of Adam lost in the fall from Paradise. Professor Brooke contends that the origins of Mormonism lie in the fusion of radical religion with occult ideas, and organizes his book around the two problems of demonstrating the survival of these ideas into the nineteenth century and explaining how they were manifested in Mormon doctrine. In the concluding chapter, the author provides an outline of how Mormonism since the 1850s gradually moved toward traditional Protestant Christianity. As well as religion, the book explores magic, witchcraft, alchemy, Freemasonry, counterfeiting, and state-formation. John L. Brooke is professor of history at Tufts University and the acclaimed author of The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 1713-1861 (CUP, 1989), which has won, among other prizes, the Organization of American Historians' Merle Curti Award for Intellectual History and the National Historical Society Book Prize for American History.

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Presenting a new and comprehensive understanding of the roots of Mormon religion, this study contends that the origins of Mormonism lie in the fusion of radical religion with occult ideas. It demonstrates the survival of these ideas and explains how they were manifested in Mormon doctrine.

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Mormon religious belief has long been a mystery to outsiders, either dismissed as anomalous to the American religious tradition or extolled as the most genuine creation of the American religious imagination. This study presents the first extended analysis of Mormon theology to have been written against the backdrop of religion and popular culture in the early modern North Atlantic world, a context that permits the most coherent analysis of Mormon origins. John Brooke argues that Mormon doctrines of the mutuality of spirit and matter, of celestial marriage (in the nineteenth century, polygamous marriage), and of human deification can be understood only in light of the connections between the occult and the sectarian ideal of restoration forged among early modern religious radicals. Hermeticism, of which alchemy was the experimental practice, posited that humanity could regain the divine powers of Adam lost in the fall from Paradise; so too the prophet Joseph Smith promised the Mormon faithful that they would become "gods" through the restoration of ancient mysteries. Exploring the opposing forces of hermetic purity and danger - manifested in sectarian religion, magic, witchcraft beliefs, alchemy, Freemasonry, counterfeiting, and state formation - in the making of the Mormon church, the book closes with an overview of the transformation of Mormonism from the 1860s to the present.

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This 1995 book presents an alternative and comprehensive understanding of the roots of Mormon religion, which proposes that the faithful will become gods. The book s central thesis is that the origins of Mormonism lie in the fusion of radical religion with magical ideas about recovering the divine powers of Adam lost in the fall from Paradise (ideas known as the hermetic philosophy) that occurred during the Reformation and the English Revolution. The book is organised around the two problems of demonstrating the survival of these ideas into the nineteenth century and of how they were manifested in Mormon doctrine. A final chapter outlines how Mormonism gradually has moved toward traditional Protestant Christianity since the 1850s. Besides religion, this book deals with magic, witchcraft, alchemy, Freemasonry, counterfeiting, and state-formation. Seller Inventory # APC9780521345453

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This 1995 book presents an alternative and comprehensive understanding of the roots of Mormon religion, which proposes that the faithful will become gods. The book s central thesis is that the origins of Mormonism lie in the fusion of radical religion with magical ideas about recovering the divine powers of Adam lost in the fall from Paradise (ideas known as the hermetic philosophy) that occurred during the Reformation and the English Revolution. The book is organised around the two problems of demonstrating the survival of these ideas into the nineteenth century and of how they were manifested in Mormon doctrine. A final chapter outlines how Mormonism gradually has moved toward traditional Protestant Christianity since the 1850s. Besides religion, this book deals with magic, witchcraft, alchemy, Freemasonry, counterfeiting, and state-formation. Seller Inventory # APC9780521345453

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