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The Refiner's Fire : The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 - John L. Brooke

The Refiner's Fire

The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844

Hardcover Published: 30th July 2012
ISBN: 9780521345453
Number Of Pages: 444

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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.

Industry Reviews

"John Brooke takes a controversial romp over the field of previous Mormon scholarship. When he has done, he has managed to raise the intellectual pedigree of Joseph Smith by establishing his close kinship with European hermeticists and the subversive sectarians of the Radical Reformation. It is a fascinating argument that traces the influence of ideas through complicated social networks of neighbors and kin. The people 'prepared' for Mormonism are a surprising lot." R. Laurence Moore, Cornell University "The Refiner's Fire explores the complex and always intriguing world of early Mormon theological and ritual evolution with remarkable learning, fairness, and daring--an exciting, sophisticated account sure to generate both controversy and a renewed appreciation of early Mormon spiritual creativity." John Butler, Yale University "This is not just a revealing history of the backgrund of the first Mormons and early Mormonism but a larger history of early American culture that will do almost as much for readers who are interested in the cultural context in which this new American religion developed as it will do for those who simply want to learn more about Mormon beginnings." Jan Shipps, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis "The Refiner's Fire explores the complex and always intriguing world of early Mormon theological and ritual evolution with remarkable learning, fairness, and daring--an exciting, sophisticated account sure to generate both controversy and a renewed appreciation of early Mormon spiritual creativity." John Butler, Yale University "This is not just a revealing history of the backgrund of the first Mormons and early Mormonism but a larger history of early American culture that will do almost as much for readers who are interested in the cultural context in which this new American religion developed as it will do for those who simply want to learn more about Mormon beginnings." Jan Shipps, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis "His book is a model of the historian's enterprise...[Brooke] blends the passion of the detective and the dispassion of the good judge as he describes the background and context of Mormonism." Martin E. Marty, Commonwealth "An insightful contribution to the controversy surrounding the origins of Mormonism." College & Research Libraries News "Excellent...This study not only sets Mormon religious history into a frontier occult milieu but offers important understanding of the beliefs and practices of Americans outside the individual and institutional carriers commonly the focus of previous occult histories." The Reader's Review "The Refiner's Fire is a wonderful book, thoroughly researched and rich in interpretive detail." Curtis Johnson, The Journal of American History "The Refiner's Fire is an important and daring work for which Brooke has received the Bancroft Prize in American history...Combining intellectual and demographic history with rare skill, Brooke sheds great light on transatlantic subcultures that have not been labeled "occult" (read "hidden") for nothing." Religious Studies Review

List of illustrations
List of maps
Preface
A Prepared People
Dreams of the primal Adam
The true spiritual seed
Something of our ancestors
Hermetic Purity and Hermetic Danger
A Urim spiritual
Alchymical experiments
I was born in Sharon
The Mormon Dispensation
Secret combinations and slippery treasures in the land of Zarahemla
The mysteries defined
Temples, wives, bogus-making and war
The keys to the kingdom
A tangle of strings and the kingdom of God
Let mysteries alone
Appendix: the sectarian and hermetic circumstances of Mormon origins in Vermont and New York
Abbreviations used in notes
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521345453
ISBN-10: 0521345456
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 444
Published: 30th July 2012
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.15  x 3.25
Weight (kg): 0.77

Earn 424 Qantas Points
on this Book