Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy

Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy

by Adam J. Powell


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Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy seeks both to demonstrate the salience of "heresy" as a tool for analyzing instances of religious conflict far beyond the borders of traditional historical theology and to illuminate the apparent affinity for deification exhibited by some persecuted religious movements. To these ends, the book argues for a sociologically-informed redefinition of heresy as religiously-motivated opposition and applies the resulting concept to the historical cases of second-century Christians and nineteenth-century Mormons. Ultimately, Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy is a careful application of the comparative method to two new religious movements, highlighting the social processes at work in their early doctrinal developments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611478716
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Series: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Mormon Studies Series
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Adam Powell is assistant professor of religious studies and director of the Master of Arts in Religious Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, NC.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Approaching Answers Outline Part One 1.Heresy as Opposition: Debates and Definitions Available Definitions Relativity and Heresy The Ideal Type Toward a Sociology of Heresy Heresy and Soteriology: The Process of Interaction 2.The Heretical Process: Its Assumptions and Predictions The Sociology of Knowledge Hans Mol's Adaptation/Identity Dialectic When Position becomes Confession From Opposition to Salvation Part Two 3.Locating Heresy: The Threefold Attack Pagans, Jews, Gnostics, and Rome: The Irenaean Antecedent Ministers, Mobs, Apostates, and "Gentile" (Protestant) America: The Early Mormon Example Ferment and Fecundity 4.Resolving Heresy: Soteriological Schemas Toward Resolution Order and Salvation Group and Self in the Soteriological Schema God, Humanity, Resolution, and Adaptation Conclusion: Salvation and Success God-making Heresy Finale Bibliography Index About the Author

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