Jump to content

Reviews For "banishing The Cross: The Emergence Of A Mormon Taboo"


Mike Reed

Recommended Posts

"Michael Reed's invaluable study shines new light on Mormon's complex and ambiguous relationship with the cross. Reed's research, the most exhaustive ever undertaken on this subject, should help other Christians understand the historic, cultural and religious context out of which Latter-day Saint attitudes toward the cross emerged--and it should help Latter-day Saints find greater spiritual meaning to this most poignant and profound of Christian symbols." --Robert A. Rees, LDS author of "The Reader's Book of Mormon" and religious studies professor at UC Berkeley and GTU

"Michael G. Reed has written a book that deftly examines one aspect of Mormonism's inconsistant overlaps with traditional Christianity and inconsistent departures therefrom." --D. Michael Quinn, author of The Mormon Hiearchy"This is a fascinating study of a surprisingly misunderstood symbol. Reed's well-researched history of the cross has much to teach modern readers across denominational lines." --Ryan K. Smith, american historian and author of "Gothic Arches, Latin Crosses: Anti-Catholicism and American Church Designs in the Nineteenth Century"

"Just finished reading Michael G. Reed 'Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo'. It was a very informative read. Reed did a lot of research that really enlightens our understanding of the (typical) current Mormon aversion to the cross. Drawing on many historical sources, Reed demonstrates that the cross-taboo was not a part of early Mormonism. In contrast, most nineteenth-century American Protestants found the cross to be distastefully Catholic. The Mormon view changed, in part, because of the influence of early nineteenth century cultural perceptions of certain influential Latter-day Saints. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Mormon history." --Mike Ash, LDS apologist and author of "Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt"

"Though a fairly light read, the book is interesting and engaging— and it is, in many ways, a significant contribution to the historical record. Reed sets straight several misconceptions about the place of the cross as a symbol in the restored gospel, while inviting the reader on a pictorial journey through a transitional period in LDS Church history." --Alonzo Gaskill, LDS author and BYU professor of Church History and Doctrine"In recent years, Mormon Church leaders have made significant attempts to repair the rift with the Catholic Church engendered by the former anti-Catholic rhetoric of some of its leaders. Banishing the Cross provides an important and comprehensive study of what animated the prejudice against the cross in the first place and of its manifestation as a historical aberration rather than a constant in Mormon history. I highly recommend this outstanding book, not only for a greater understanding of the reasons behind the banishment of the cross, but also for its rich treatment of an animus so at odds with Joseph Smith’s own sentiments vis-a-vis the Roman Catholic Church. In his last recorded sermon, Joseph stated: 'The Old Catholic church is worth more than all' the rest." --Fiona Givens, coauthor of "The God Who Weeps"

"An insightful discussion of LDS—Roman Catholic relations can be found in Michael G. Reed, Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo (Independence: John Whitmer Books, 2012)."--Stephen H. Webb, Author of "Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn From the Latter-day Saints" and retired professor of religion and theology from Wabash College

"While President Gordon B. Hinckley repeatedly emphasized his respect for other churches that use the cross, he emphasized that, “for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the Living Christ.” [2] Unfortunately, this argument rings hollow, perhaps even condescending, to other Christians since they too worship the Living Christ. The cross reminds them not only of Christ’s death, but of his atoning sacrifice—his life, death, and resurrection—and of their complete dependence on that expiating force. So the symbolic force of the cross is a major division between LDS Christians and creedal Christians. And for the average Mormon, LDS antipathy to the cross may seem doctrinal, perhaps foundational, dating back to teachings from Joseph Smith. However, as Michael Reed aptly demonstrates in his new book "Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo" this history is much more recent and quite complex..... While many Mormon historians have noted correctly that early Mormons echoed the anti-Catholic attitudes and polemics of their nineteenth-century neighbors, Reed conclusively shows that early Mormons had no aversion to the cross. He persuasively demonstrates that the taboo against the cross arose as Mormons lost their connection with folk magic and masonry, as anti-Catholic bias grew within both the membership and leadership of the Church, and as relations between Church leaders and Salt Lake area Catholics grew more tense. What is fascinating about Reed’s analysis is that the institutionalization of the taboo occurred quite late in Mormon history and is not based on any strong theological reasoning. With contemporary Mormonism's more ecumenical focus, a tremendous lessening of anti-Catholic rhetoric, and greatly improved relations between all denominations 'of Christinanity and the LDS Church, it is not hard to imagine a world where Mormons can once again embrace the symbolic power of the cross. Reed’s book is a wonderful addition to Mormon history and a helpful guide in rethinking our contemporary aversion to the central symbol of Christianity." --Boyd J. Peterson, LDS author and professor of religion at UVU and BYU

And now... most recently:

"In his first book, based on his master’s thesis, Michael Reed has already made a groundbreaking contribution to Mormon studies and religious studies in general... Reed’s fine work therefore represents a historiographical breakthrough. One hopes that he is blazing a new path in Mormon studies..." Don Compier, Dean of the Community of Christ Seminary.

Link to comment

Mike,

 

I look forward to reading your book. I was wondering about your thoughts on the Fort Collins, Colorado temple.

 

Do you think this is an anomaly or do you think incorporating the cross into more of our architecture is going to be more common?

 

Thanks

I think there is a good chance of it. The temple I am watching most closely, however, is the temple in Rome. Rumor has it that there will be bold crosses in its doorways. Several months ago the friend magazine featured on its cover, and in one of its articles, the southern cross star constellation. I speculated at the time that this might have been done to test the waters of lds culture, to see if the saints are ready for crosses.
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

"Michael Reed's invaluable study shines new light on Mormon's complex and ambiguous relationship with the cross. Reed's research, the most exhaustive ever undertaken on this subject, should help other Christians understand the historic, cultural and religious context out of which Latter-day Saint attitudes toward the cross emerged--and it should help Latter-day Saints find greater spiritual meaning to this most poignant and profound of Christian symbols." --Robert A. Rees, LDS author of "The Reader's Book of Mormon" and religious studies professor at UC Berkeley and GTU

"Michael G. Reed has written a book that deftly examines one aspect of Mormonism's inconsistant overlaps with traditional Christianity and inconsistent departures therefrom." --D. Michael Quinn, author of The Mormon Hiearchy"This is a fascinating study of a surprisingly misunderstood symbol. Reed's well-researched history of the cross has much to teach modern readers across denominational lines." --Ryan K. Smith, american historian and author of "Gothic Arches, Latin Crosses: Anti-Catholicism and American Church Designs in the Nineteenth Century"

"Just finished reading Michael G. Reed 'Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo'. It was a very informative read. Reed did a lot of research that really enlightens our understanding of the (typical) current Mormon aversion to the cross. Drawing on many historical sources, Reed demonstrates that the cross-taboo was not a part of early Mormonism. In contrast, most nineteenth-century American Protestants found the cross to be distastefully Catholic. The Mormon view changed, in part, because of the influence of early nineteenth century cultural perceptions of certain influential Latter-day Saints. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Mormon history." --Mike Ash, LDS apologist and author of "Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt"

"Though a fairly light read, the book is interesting and engaging— and it is, in many ways, a significant contribution to the historical record. Reed sets straight several misconceptions about the place of the cross as a symbol in the restored gospel, while inviting the reader on a pictorial journey through a transitional period in LDS Church history." --Alonzo Gaskill, LDS author and BYU professor of Church History and Doctrine"In recent years, Mormon Church leaders have made significant attempts to repair the rift with the Catholic Church engendered by the former anti-Catholic rhetoric of some of its leaders. Banishing the Cross provides an important and comprehensive study of what animated the prejudice against the cross in the first place and of its manifestation as a historical aberration rather than a constant in Mormon history. I highly recommend this outstanding book, not only for a greater understanding of the reasons behind the banishment of the cross, but also for its rich treatment of an animus so at odds with Joseph Smith’s own sentiments vis-a-vis the Roman Catholic Church. In his last recorded sermon, Joseph stated: 'The Old Catholic church is worth more than all' the rest." --Fiona Givens, coauthor of "The God Who Weeps"

"An insightful discussion of LDS—Roman Catholic relations can be found in Michael G. Reed, Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo (Independence: John Whitmer Books, 2012)."--Stephen H. Webb, Author of "Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn From the Latter-day Saints" and retired professor of religion and theology from Wabash College

"While President Gordon B. Hinckley repeatedly emphasized his respect for other churches that use the cross, he emphasized that, “for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the Living Christ.” [2] Unfortunately, this argument rings hollow, perhaps even condescending, to other Christians since they too worship the Living Christ. The cross reminds them not only of Christ’s death, but of his atoning sacrifice—his life, death, and resurrection—and of their complete dependence on that expiating force. So the symbolic force of the cross is a major division between LDS Christians and creedal Christians. And for the average Mormon, LDS antipathy to the cross may seem doctrinal, perhaps foundational, dating back to teachings from Joseph Smith. However, as Michael Reed aptly demonstrates in his new book "Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo" this history is much more recent and quite complex..... While many Mormon historians have noted correctly that early Mormons echoed the anti-Catholic attitudes and polemics of their nineteenth-century neighbors, Reed conclusively shows that early Mormons had no aversion to the cross. He persuasively demonstrates that the taboo against the cross arose as Mormons lost their connection with folk magic and masonry, as anti-Catholic bias grew within both the membership and leadership of the Church, and as relations between Church leaders and Salt Lake area Catholics grew more tense. What is fascinating about Reed’s analysis is that the institutionalization of the taboo occurred quite late in Mormon history and is not based on any strong theological reasoning. With contemporary Mormonism's more ecumenical focus, a tremendous lessening of anti-Catholic rhetoric, and greatly improved relations between all denominations 'of Christinanity and the LDS Church, it is not hard to imagine a world where Mormons can once again embrace the symbolic power of the cross. Reed’s book is a wonderful addition to Mormon history and a helpful guide in rethinking our contemporary aversion to the central symbol of Christianity." --Boyd J. Peterson, LDS author and professor of religion at UVU and BYU

And now... most recently:

"In his first book, based on his master’s thesis, Michael Reed has already made a groundbreaking contribution to Mormon studies and religious studies in general... Reed’s fine work therefore represents a historiographical breakthrough. One hopes that he is blazing a new path in Mormon studies..." Don Compier, Dean of the Community of Christ Seminary.

Having read a signed copy myself:) I make the following observation, if the statement holds true that "a picture is worth a thousand words", then this volume of work contains thousands of pages of information and history that cannot be ignored. It is well written and well researched and notes how the issue of the "cross" and it's relationship within Mormonism has been an evolutionary process, and based more on opinion than doctrine within the Standard Works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also makes clear the the personal use of the cross would not be a violation of any commandment but policy. Since it is an evolutionary process that governs the subject then the evolution is not yet complete as evolution is always a continuing process. Therefore none may fear that their personal use of the cross will lead to any judgement before God or man, unless they teach that having one or displaying one would disqualify one from salvation. This book by Mike Reed. points out that it is a symbol and it is man who ascribes absolute meaning to it.

William E Lee, Poet, Lecturer and Teacher. (Former Chairman Education Director, Georgia Chapter of IAEI) Annual Lecturer. Georgia Tech University, Retired Chief Electrical Inspector, City of Atlanta.

Good job Mike and thank you :)

DID NO ONE GET MY REVIEW...OH JUST BECAUSE I AM AN ELECTRICIAN. :(

Well I hope Mike enjoyed it. :)

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Having read a signed copy myself:) I make the following observation, if the statement holds true that "a picture is worth a thousand words", then this volume of work contains thousands of pages of information and history that cannot be ignored. It is well written and well researched and notes how the issue of the "cross" and it's relationship within Mormonism has been an evolutionary process, and based more on opinion than doctrine within the Standard Works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also makes clear the the personal use of the cross would not be a violation of any commandment but policy. Since it is an evolutionary process that governs the subject then the evolution is not yet complete as evolution is always a continuing process. Therefore none may fear that their personal use of the cross will lead to any judgement before God or man, unless they teach that having one or displaying one would disqualify one from salvation. This book by Mike Reed. points out that it is a symbol and it is man who ascribes absolute meaning to it.

William E Lee, Poet, Lecturer and Teacher. (Former Chairman Education Director, Georgia Chapter of IAEI) Annual Lecturer. Georgia Tech University, Retired Chief Electrical Inspector, City of Atlanta.

Good job Mike and thank you :)

DID NO ONE GET MY REVIEW...OH JUST BECAUSE I AM AN ELECTRICIAN. :(

Well I hope Mike enjoyed it. :)

I missed it, I wonder why...been getting a lot of unread posts read as read lately, wonder if it caused this. I like your version, what ivalue the book could have to me if I were thinking of wearing one. Not that any taboo I am aware of would stop me, I would just like to know the history as it relates.

Link to comment

I missed it, I wonder why...been getting a lot of unread posts read as read lately, wonder if it caused this. I like your version, what ivalue the book could have to me if I were thinking of wearing one. Not that any taboo I am aware of would stop me, I would just like to know the history as it relates.

I had the duty of "preaching" at my Mother's funeral yesterday...not by choice, but because she wanted me too. There was a large cross behind at the pulpit, that I miss from my youth. We even sang "The Old Rugged Cross". It brought back some many happy memories of childhood...but alas today, I am an orphan. The house seems so empty...my wife and I keep looking at one another in disbelief as it came so suddenly.

I can take comfort that my mother knows me again after the years of forgetting brought on by Alhiemers. My dear wife bore most of the burden caring for my mother. Now together we can be a couple again, and I can get back to my most important jobs, husband, father and (my favorite)... Pa Pa.

Link to comment

I love you, PaPa. You are an inspiration (funny how I can feel so close to people I've never seen, my daughter teases me about my best friends I've never met...but this is a meeting of minds and hearts even if not a physical one.

Link to comment

I love you, PaPa. You are an inspiration (funny how I can feel so close to people I've never seen, my daughter teases me about my best friends I've never met...but this is a meeting of minds and hearts even if not a physical one.

I know what you mean, since my injury and other health problems, and having left the Ward I attended for 30 years to take care of Ma Ma, most of my friends are here.

If any of you would like to what a mighty woman of God my mother was...click on my poetry link and read the poem, "When My Mother Prays". She was. The inspiration for the poem. Also see Proverbs 31: 10-31, that I read to let all know that she was to all who knew her.

Link to comment

I missed it, I wonder why...been getting a lot of unread posts read as read lately, wonder if it caused this. I like your version, what ivalue the book could have to me if I were thinking of wearing one. Not that any taboo I am aware of would stop me, I would just like to know the history as it relates.

Cal, no offense but you live in Utah Valley, I don't think it would go over well if you started wearing a cross. 

Link to comment

I don't wear much jewelry to begin with so it is unlikely I would wear a cross, but if I do I have little doubt it would raise much more than an eyebrow in my ward.

I was in a store today and saw my first chocolate cross for Easter, and I live in the Bible Belt...seemed unseemly to me.
Link to comment

A chocolate cross, huh? Interesting...  I suppose eating one could be seen in a sacramental way, but Chocolate?  Well... perhaps... so long as it fills your soul with exceedingly great joy, and that you desire that your family should partake of it also.  But who wants to share chocolate?

Link to comment

A chocolate cross, huh? Interesting... I suppose eating one could be seen in a sacramental way, but Chocolate? Well... perhaps... so long as it fills your soul with exceedingly great joy, and that you desire that your family should partake of it also. But who wants to share chocolate?

Great joy...I thought that was the only reason chocolate existed for. :)

We have a scripture that reads...

"Adam fell that men might be, men are that they might have chocolate".

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...