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

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 31, 1996 - History - 421 pages
0 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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Dreams of the Primal Adam
3
The True Spiritual Seed
30
Something of Our Ancestors
59
Hermetic Purity and Hermetic Danger
89
A Urim Spiritual
91
Alchymical Experiments
105
I Was Born in Sharon
129
The Mormon Dispensation
147
Temples Wives BogusMaking and War
209
The Keys to the Kingdom
235
A Tangle of Strings and the Kingdom of God
262
Let Mysteries Alone
278
The Sectarian and Hermetic Circumstances of Mormon Origins in Vermont and New York
306
Abbreviations Used in Notes
311
Notes
314
Index
405

Secret Combinations and Slippery Treasures in the Land of Zarahemla
149
The Mysteries Defined
184

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information