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

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1994 - History - 444 pages
9 Reviews
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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Review: The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

The main achievement of the book is to show the continuity between the religious turmoil of the beginning of Christianity, through the religious reform movements of the 14th and 15th century, and on ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Ashley - Goodreads

I read this book for my World Religions course. I was excited to learn about different religions, and I find Mormonism interesting. However, I did not like the way this book was written. Read full review

About the author (1994)

John L. Brooke is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University, where he also directs the Center for Historical Research. His books include Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson (2010), which won the Best Book Prize from the Society of the Historians of the Early American Republic; The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County Massachusetts, 1713 1861 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which won the Merle Curti Award for Intellectual History from the Organization of American Historians; and The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644 1844 (Cambridge University Press, 1989), which won the Bancroft Prize for American History. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Antiquarian Society and the Harvard Charles Warren Center.

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