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Joseph Smith, Jr.Reappraisals After Two Centuries$
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Reid L. Neilson and Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369786.001.0001

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Joseph Smith: Prophecy, Process, and Plenitude

Joseph Smith: Prophecy, Process, and Plenitude

(p.107) 8 Joseph Smith: Prophecy, Process, and Plenitude
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Terryl L. Givens (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter connects Joseph Smith's religion-making, in both its scope and its method, to the intellectual revolution called Romanticism. Like all intellectual revolutionaries of that era from Malthus to Marx to Darwin, Joseph Smith rearticulated the fundamental vision of his field of influence in terms of contestation, struggle, and dynamism. His collapse of sacred distance, rupturing of the canon, doctrines of pre-existence and theosis, and gestures toward a comprehensive, scriptural Ur-Text—all betoken an emphasis on process over product, and a precarious tension between the searching and certainty that characterized both his personality and the faith he founded.

Keywords:   Mormonism, romanticism, religious imagination, struggle, revelation, pre-existence, theosis, canon

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