Download Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: by Terryl L. Givens PDF

By Terryl L. Givens

During this first quantity of his magisterial examine of the rules of Mormon idea and perform, Terryl L. Givens deals a sweeping account of Mormon trust from its founding to the current day. Situating the really new circulate within the context of the Christian culture, he unearths that Mormonism keeps to alter and grow.

Givens indicates that regardless of Mormonism's origins in a biblical tradition strongly prompted by way of nineteenth-century Restorationist inspiration, which endorsed a go back to the Christianity of the early Church, the recent stream diverges extensively from the Christianity of the creeds. Mormonism proposes its personal cosmology and metaphysics, during which human identification is rooted in a premortal global as everlasting as God. Mormons view mortal existence as an enlightening ascent instead of a catastrophic fall, and reject conventional Christian recommendations of human depravity and future. renowned fascination with Mormonism's social thoughts, equivalent to polygamy and communalism, and its supernatural and esoteric elements-angels, gold plates, seer stones, a brand new international backyard of Eden, and sacred undergarments-have lengthy overshadowed the truth that it's the so much enduring or even thriving made of the 19th century's spiritual upheavals and innovations.

Wrestling the Angel lines the fundamental contours of Mormon idea from the time of Joseph Smith and Brigham younger to the modern LDS church, illuminating either the seminal impact of the founding new release of Mormon thinkers and the numerous advancements within the church over virtually 2 hundred years. the main complete account of the improvement of Mormon idea ever written, Wrestling the Angel can be crucial interpreting for someone looking to comprehend the Mormon faith.

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Extra info for Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity

Sample text

Mormonism differs in its conception of the “keys,” or priestly authority its stewards hold as “prophets, seers, and revelators,” and in one entirely crucial regard: Mormonism asserts that the original deposit of faith is itself expanding—that is, the canon is never closed. But some openness to change is shared with all but the most recalcitrant fundamentalists. Mormonism’s ninth Article of Faith, which affirms belief “that God will yet reveal many great and important things,” is similar in spirit to the words of the Congregationalist minister George MacDonald: “To the man who would live throughout the whole divine form of his being, … a thousand questions will arise to which the Bible does not even allude… .

As the church grew more bureaucratically sophisticated, populous, and geographically diffuse, the maintenance of orthodoxy through centralized correlation and control became a more urgent concern. In this light, we might see Roberts, with his more ambitious and speculative bent coming up against a cautious and conservative leadership, as marking the end of a period of theological expansiveness. The work of Widtsoe and Talmage, by contrast, set a precedent for what would become, increasingly, a doctrinaire bent to publications emanating from the leadership.

Reuben Clark was called into the First Presidency of the church in 1933. Higher Criticism dates back to the eighteenth century (or earlier, by some definitions), but it produced mid-twentieth-century reverberations that appear to have impacted Mormon leadership in particularly powerful ways. The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy of the 1920s and ’30s marked a critical juncture in the split of American Presbyterians into liberal and conservative wings, but the strife and division spread throughout Protestantism.

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