Toward an Anthropology of Apotheosis in Mozart’s Magic Flute: A Demonstration of the Artistic Universality and Vitality of Certain “Peculiar” Latter-day Saint Doctrines

It seems there are certain notions held by Latter-day Saints, deviating almost diametrically from those promulgated by orthodox Christianity, that have the power to evoke from certain conservative Christian quarters the most vituperative fulminations. One thinks immediately of the idea expounded by Joseph Smith at King Follett’s funeral that humans have the potential to become gods through a process of perfection experienced by the gods themselves. The orthodox response to this notion in the form of the Godmakers films and other manifestations of righteous indignation has been extraordinary. The paradox, however, is this: Scratch the orthodox surface of Christianity, explore at any depth occidental thought, especially the aesthetic search for ontological meaning int eh arts, and you will find this and other related “Mormon” ideas in surprising abundance and unsurpassed persuasive power.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 43:3
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