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The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon…
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The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844 (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1994; vuoden 1994 painos)

– tekijä: John L. Brooke (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1352158,341 (3.81)3
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.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:BetsyDavison
Teoksen nimi:The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844
Kirjailijat:John L. Brooke (Tekijä)
Info:Cambridge University Press (1994)
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The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (tekijä: John L. Brooke) (1994)

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näyttää 2/2
Excellent; fascinating ( )
  LPierson | Jan 13, 2017 |
This is the second time I've read his book. I am glad I read it again because the last time I read it was over a decade ago and I had not researched church history as thoroughly at that point as I have now. I've done a whole lot of reading and research since then. I have read through much apocalyptic, mystical and sectarian literature since originally reading this and I am in a much better position now to gauge the merits of this work; and I fully concur with the author as to his overall thesis; i.e. that Mormonism is largely dependent on Hermetic tradition for much of it's theology. I am also in the process of going through the Mormon "scriptures" as well, so that I can also be well grounded in LDS theology/cosmology straight from the sources themselves.
The author begins his investigation with early Protestant sectarianism in order to show the under currents of what would lay the groundwork for Mormon cosmology. I would say that having read much of the sectarian literature from the 16th to the 18th centuries, Mormonism is even more of a departure from Christianity than much of what made up those sects ideologically. None of those sects (i.e. Shakers, Ephrata community, Swedenborgians, Philadelphians, Muggletonians etc), as far as I am aware, made God only a human being, made matter eternal and made all people potential gods in the making. This aspect of Mormon thought is such a serious departure from Christianity that nothing that is essentially Christian is really to be found here. These kinds of ideas are present in different forms in polytheistic and pagan thought however. Hermeticism is more than a likely candidate for Joseph Smith's initial inspiration and later propagation of these notions. The most likely mediating source in my opinion is Swedenborg. Brooke does note Swedenborg's likely influence, but having read Swedenborg, I would give even more credit to Swedenborg than this author does. Protestant mystics like Boehme and Swedenborg were very much within the tradition of Hermeticism and Cabalism. Like Joseph Smith, Swedenborg also claimed that God was a man; albeit in Swedenborg this is a bit more ambiguous. Swedenborg apparently thought that God was a cosmic man in some more allegorical sense; Smith believed that God was a man literally. Almost certainly Smith got this notion from Swedenborg originally. Smith attests to having read Swedenborg and agreeing with much of his thought. I am not aware of Swedenborg ever positing that men would become gods in the sense Smith did. Swedenborg was even more monotheistic than many other sectarians were at the time (even going so far as to deny the Trinity). Mormonism is really not monotheistic at all; it is wholly polytheistic. There is no one God, only an eternal succession of actual and would-be gods. In this aspect of Mormon thought, no precedent in Christian sectarianism can be found. These kinds of notions are found only in pagan thought. Buddhism and Hinduism are similar, but Hinduism has a supreme God at least in theory. In Buddhism there are many gods, not just one and any enlightened Buddha is a god, for all intents and purposes. Mormonism is similar to Buddhism in it's belief in the eternal succession of gods and the eternity of matter. It is very similar to Hinduism in it's ideas regarding polygamy and the role it plays in godhood. Certainly, the sexual aspects of Hindu Kama Sutra does offer an interesting parallel; but in general, paganism always had a very particular reverence for the coital act and this played a huge role in the temple cult (another aspect of Mormonism). Undeniably, Smith's known polygamy and the importance he gave to copulation and reproduction finds no precedent in Judaism and Christianity. Despite what Mormons may claim, the patriarchal polygamy was not religious in any way. Christ condemned polygamy along with adultery, so by Christ's definition Smith was an adulterer. Of course, really by any definition Smith was an adulterer because he had married women who were already married. It's incredibly odd that the Book Of Mormon condemns polygamy as an abomination, yet Smith practiced it and sanctioned it. In short, Hermeticism seems to have been the initial inspiration given it's theurgic bent, but there are other aspects of Mormonism that are simply pagan modes of religion.
I have read Mormons criticize this book as being overly speculative. That is really a straw man argument. The author does engage in speculation, but the speculation is based on historical fact. Facts such as: 1) Joseph Smith was into divination; 2) Smith was a Freemason; 3) Smith had read much material that was of a Hermetic bent. All of the above are historically verifiable from Smith's own words and attested by those who knew him. All of the above more than substantiates Smith's involvement in Hermetic, occult and pagan tradition. Freemasonry has been propagating Egyptian Hermeticism since it's formation; that is easily substantiated. Swedenborg owed much to Hermetic thought; that is also easily substantiated. That Smith used seer stones and engaged in other forms of divination (things the Bible condemns btw) is also easily substantiated.
To sum up, I wholly agree with the author's thesis, although I might have explored further the role of Swedenborg and I might have explored contemporaneous channeled literature such as Jacob Lorber to give more context to overall religious trends of the time. There are odd parallels between Lorber's writings and the Pearl of Great Price. ( )
  Erick_M | Jun 4, 2016 |
näyttää 2/2
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This study began in May 1985, when the newspapers first published accounts of startling documentary discoveries touching on the history of Mormonism.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (5)

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.

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