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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Greg Kofford Books, Inc. (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589581938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589581937
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 14 customer reviews
Good thoughts permeate this book.
Jeremy Hunt
If you're looking for the pure answers to your theological questions, resist buying this book immediately lest it contaminate you.
F. James
That said, a certain unevenness in the book should be noted.
Joseph M. Spencer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Hunt on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good thoughts permeate this book. It was a great read. It is clear to see the influence of different strains of intellectual thoughts woven together in very fresh and interesting ways. Very thoughtfully Mormon.

In response to some of the critical reviews, I would say the book is more in the tradition of continental philosophy, which may render it a bit opaque, but in terms of contemporary theological writings it is well written and clear. More in the vein a theopoetical work than analytical theology. Miller weaves together strains of thought from many sources and dialogues well with current theological and philosophical currents.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seth R. Payne on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I recommend Miller's creative collection of essays to anyone with an interest the theological richness, as opposed to the supposed doctrinal rigidity, of Mormonism. The reader will come away with a fresh perspective and truly unique insights into elements of Mormon theology long-considered settled and definitively understood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blair Dee Hodges on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a collection of various essays and blog posts from Mormon philosopher and theologian Adam Miller. Of the book's fourteen movements (pieces? Not essays, all; meditations, prose poems, songs disguised as analytic lists?) there were four that I really looked forward to re-reading. Not because they spoke of something I already knew I knew, but because they invoked something in me I recognized from before without having ever articulated it. Or because they took something I thought I was already well-familiar with and turned it on its head. The other essays felt too dense or too winding or too indirect. He writes like a Continental philosopher, it seems to me. A friend suggested that Miller be read poetically, which isn't to say his work is less-than philosophy, but that it manages (or attempts) to capture things which our rational Tetris-language can't capture (roundness, for instance). Still, I think a reader needs to be somewhat familiar with aesthetics of a text in order to facilitate the co-production of a text in the act of reading, and I needed more help than Adam offered. You may very well not. Miller is breaking new theological ground for Mormons, so I suspect this book will hold an important place in future theological discussions on Mormonism.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M. Spencer on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Miller's book marks the rise of a new approach to Mormon theology. As he states in his "manifesto" (chapter 6), Mormon theology should be unmistakably rooted in scripture and unabashedly motivated by charity. The result is a most remarkable set of essays.

That said, a certain unevenness in the book should be noted. The essays comprising the book were produced over a decade, and there is a tangible difference in tone, approach, and commitments between earlier (chapters 3 and 7-12) and later (chapters 1-2, 4-6, and 13-14) essays. There are even, at times, outright contradiction (compare the claim that "novelty is a red herring" repeated several times in "Groundhog Day," chapter 13, with the claim that "without the new, the being of everything is nothing" in "Humanism, Mormonism," chapter 11). The development of Miller's thought is thus on display in certain important ways. Whether earlier and later essays can be reconciled in some way--apart from their obviously unifying emphasis on charity--is not something Miller himself addresses.

Miller's writing is painfully beautiful, so sharp it almost hurts, and unflinching in its insistence on humility.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bradley H Kramer on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Adam Miller is a theologian. He is also healthily, even playfully skeptical of the value of theology. It isn't false-modesty or cheap non-conformism, but rather a doubtful approach to the question of whether the divine can be apprehended or ordered according to a systematically rational system. Still, Miller is a very good theologian with evident philosophical training and an unusual intellectual rigor. If he is skeptical of the wisdom of seeking God in the realm of Platonic absolutes or the interplay of Kantian Categories, it is only because he finds God so immanently grounded in material reality, in the presence of the Present. The title Rube Goldberg Machines is an admission and a statement about the utility of thinking philosophically about the divine. Such machines (not unlike a great deal of modern intellectual theory-making) deploy absurdly contrived, deliberately over-complicated mechanisms to perform the simplest of tasks. But like the comical machines, theology itself can be, when approached with appropriate self-awareness and self-deprecation, tremendously fun, even joyful. There are a number of extremely gifted, serious theologians in the Mormon tradition, from the Pratt brothers and Roberts to Truman Madsen and Blake Ostler. There work is invaluable, and Miller would be the first to admit it. But while his theological writings probably have closest Mormon kinship with the work of the wonderful Jim Faulconer (Miller's writing in my mind combines Faulconer's hermeneutic aversion to systematic theology with Kierkegarrd's demanding gravity and an invigorating dose of Nietzsche's poetic indulgence), they are indeed fun. Not because they take you to fun places, but because the journey is a genuine (if challenging) pleasure.Read more ›
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