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Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol 12 : Ancient History) Hardcover – May 1, 1992


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Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol 12 : Ancient History) + One Eternal Round + Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Works)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol 12 : Ancient History
  • Hardcover: 597 pages
  • Publisher: Deseret Book Co (May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875795234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875795232
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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When I first read this book, frankly, I was blown away.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For the "uninitiated," this volume will prove a mass of confusion. On the other hand, the faithful LDS temple patron could scarce imagine the enlightenment this book will bring. A long-time bibliophile, I normally find my excitement in history books and classic literature. Modern church books often fail to stimulate me, but Nibley's "Temple and Cosmos" is an exception.
What does "Cosmos" have to do with temples?
Why do so many cultures have temples?
What do all of these cultures have in common?
Of what interest are all these other temples to me?
What do the different cultures wear in their temple rites, why?
Other than the scriptures, what can I learn from ancient writings and traditions regarding temples?
Nibley addresses these questions and others you've never asked yourself. And the answers will give even the most knowledgeable and faithful a new fascination with their church and its ordinances.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Blah on December 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing. Nibley's grasp of the subject matter is truly astounding. While it is true that Nibley is a mormon apologist, this work is not skewed like many of his other works. This is his best effort. Whether you are mormon or not this book brings up a lot of intersting similarities with almost every ancient religion and their temple type. Zoroastrian fire temples being the most notable exception. a pure joy to read.
Nibley does not go into depth concerning mormon temple ceremonies but many of the things he discuss will still be easily understood by the non-mormon reader. In addition, a large portion of the book is devoted to the actual structure of the temple as a microcosm of the universe. Also of note is his discusion of sacred vestments through the ages.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kevin K. Winters on March 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Nibley's work on Temples, ancient and modern, are incredible. Many of the articles in this book were previously unpublished works. Others are from firesides and addresses at BYU and other places. All are generally aimed towards the LDS audience.
Scholars have, in the last 10 years, expanded on many of Nibley's proposed ideas. Scholars, LDS and non-LDS, have found similar conclusions as Nibley has proposed and have expanded on them (as one example on Nibley's "One Eternal Round" see Mircea Eliade "The Myth of the Eternal Return" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954) for more on "parallelism" see John M. Lundquist's "The Temple: Meetingplace of Heaven and Earth" and it's respective bibliography). Many students of temples of the ancient world would find few qualms with the conclusions expressed by Hugh Nibley as they relate to the temple.
This book is mostly directed toward the LDS audience. Despite this it may be informative to the beginning non-LDS student of the temple (especially as seen by the LDS mind). Other books may be suggested but many of the conlcusions would be the same.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have loved this book for years. Hugh Nibley was not only a brilliant man, a great scholar, and a dedicated teacher; he also had the gift of being able to cut past all the endless intellectual distractions to focus on what is important. When I first read this book, frankly, I was blown away. There was so much richness about the temple that I did not know. However, more than all that are the essays and talks on what the implications of all this are for the way should live our life here with regard to what comes hereafter.

A temple is the House of the Lord and God uses it to teach, enrich, and endow the lives of his children. Brother Nibley is right that the temple is a scale model of the universe. It shows not only our place and purpose, but sets us on the correct path through teaching, covenants, and ordinances. Temples make eternity understandable and unite all ages of time in one eternal present with our Father. In this book we not only see what was restored with the Church through revelation, the author also shows us echoes (not sources) of the true teachings in ancient and pagan temples and ceremonies.

There are a wide range of essays on various aspects of the theme of the temple and the cosmos (the everything). In one of them, Brother Nibley even talks about science fiction and the gospel! It is full of interesting illustrations.

Hugh Nibley enriched my own appreciation of the temple through the essays and talks collected in this wonderful book. If you are interested in what he had to say on this important gospel topic, I recommend it to you. The author makes so many great points of so many details that are easy to miss that you will never be able to look at the temple the same way again. And opening your vision to seeing the world anew is what a great teacher does.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Thmazing on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm no scholar, but I foind this book to be very readable and extremely stimulating. Nibley's thought is astounding. While a couple of his statements on science are now a tad dated, the thought itself is as sound as ever. The coverage of the essays in this volume is astounding--you name it. Nibley's thought is very helpful to all who wish to supplement faith with intellect
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emily J. Morris VINE VOICE on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I originally became interested in reading this book after my friend's professor mentioned some pieces in it. So as soon as I thought about it again and had a little extra money I went ahead and ordered it, my first exposure to something more than an article of Nibley's.

I feel shallow for saying this, but my favorite aspect of this book was that it was simply fun to read. I'm sort of a geek in the way that I like learning, and this is it. Nibley writes simpler than I would expected and as many pieces in here seem to have been speeches, the style is very conversational and I would almost say rambling--which only makes me respect the man even more. There is just something nice about a scholar who likes to reveal information rather than making a stiff report.

The work is literally divided into two pieces: specifics of the temple concept, modern and ancient; and temple themes of the gospel. Some chapters are more random than others, but all are fascinating due to Nibley's thorought research and sharp mind.

Nibley is indeed a scholar, but that does not mean there isn't a healthy dose of faith in here--which probably makes this more applicable to the LDS folk. Rather than a dump of research, I would say this is more to the respect of educated observations.

All in all, a great, fascinating read.
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