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Product Code: XB163
Title: The Refiner's Fire: The making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844
Author: John L. Brooke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Price: $35.00
Date: 1996
Pages: 421
Additional Info: Winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History, the Book Prize of the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and the New England Historical Association's Annual Book Award


The Refiner's Fire presents a new and comprehensive understanding of the roots of the Mormon religion, a religion which proposes that the faithful will become gods. The book's central thesis is that the origins of Mormonism lie in the fusion that occurred during the Reformation and English Revolution of radical religion and magical ideas about recovering the divine powers of Adam lost in the fall from Paradise (the hermetic philosophy). The book is organized around the two problems of demonstrating the survival of these ideas into the nineteenth century and of how they were manifested in Mormon doctrine. The final chapter outlines how Mormonism has gradually moved since the 1850's toward traditional Protestant Christianity. [From back cover.]

Table of Contents

Part I: A Prepared People

  1. Dreams of the Primal Adam
  2. The True Spiritual Seed
  3. Something of Our Ancestors

Part II: Hermetic Purity and Hermetic Danger

  1. A Urim Spiritual
  2. Alchymical Experiments
  3. I Was Born in Sharon

Part III: The Mormon Dispensation

  1. Secret Combinations and Slippery Treasures in the Land of Zarahemla
  2. The Mysteries Defined
  3. Temples, Wives, Bogus-Making, and War
  4. The Keys to the Kingdom
  5. A Tangle of Strings and the Kingdom of God
  6. Let Mysteries Alone

Appendix: The Sectarian and Hermetic Circumstances of Mormon Origins in Vermont and New York

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