Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy

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Adam J. Powell
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Mormon Studies Series
  • Lanham, MD: 
    Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
    , October
     276 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Anne Kreps forthcoming.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

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.


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