The Corpse and Its Rest

Samuel Morris Brown

in In Heaven as It Is on Earth

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793570
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932511 | DOI:
The Corpse and Its Rest

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This chapter describes Joseph Smith's view of decomposition and the physical fate of the body before and after resurrection. Situating his views within Anglo-American ideas about physical identity and the liminal corpse demonstrates the relevance of ideas about the dead body to understanding Mormon philosophy and theology, particularly Mormon materialism. The chapter also considers the family's exhumation of Alvin a year after his burial as a personal valence of these beliefs, as well as the disputed early Mormon practice of raising believers from the dead.

Keywords: corpses; the body; decomposition; physical identity; exhumation; resurrection; burial; raising the dead

Chapter.  12924 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Christianity

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