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Jesus Christ, Eternal GodHeavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter$
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Stephen H. Webb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827954.001.0001

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Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints

Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints

(p.243) { 9 } Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints
Jesus Christ, Eternal God

Stephen H. Webb

Oxford University Press

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints has no professional theologians or clergy, so its beliefs are not always easy for outsiders to discern and discuss. The most controversial Mormon beliefs concern its depiction of God as eternally bodied. This means that on a metaphysical plain, Mormons are resolutely materialistic. This chapter proposes that Heavenly Flesh Christology can put Mormon metaphysics on a solid Christological ground while also opening the way for creedal theologians to learn from and appropriate Mormon metaphysics. This chapter examines the origins of Mormon materialism in the writings of Joseph Smith and investigates the relationship between Mormon materialism and hermeticism. It also discusses the work of Truman Madsen and the multiverse theory of Kirk Hagen.

Keywords:   Mormon, Joseph Smith, materialism, hermeticism, Truman Madsen, Kirk Hagen, multiverse

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