Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
205: Joseph Smith the Occultish Bricoleur: Sheldon Kent

205: Joseph Smith the Occultish Bricoleur: Sheldon Kent

Credit: Cliff Johnson @Flickr

Lancaster University PhD student, Sheldon Kent discusses the esoteric and mystical influences abroad during the early days of Mormonism.   In particular, he discusses Emmanual Swedenborg and the impact that this 18th-century philosopher and church man had on Joseph Smith’s theology.


  1. Neal

    Yes, Eldred G. Smith was the last Church Patriarch. My parents got their PB from him. He had a ton of artifacts that belonged to Hyrum Smith, including the temple garments he was wearing when he was shot.

  2. Rick

    D. Michael Quinn makes a case that Joseph Smith, Jr. knew about Emanuel Swedenborg’s ideas on the after-life. He also mentions that Swedenborg’s book “Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders” was present in a community library near Palmyra since 1817.

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