Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 12)
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Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 12)

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  649 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Temple and Cosmos- Beyond this Ignorant
Hardcover, 597 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Deseret Book Co
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Community Reviews

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Sarah
yeah - too much for me to handle as a whole. This is one to pick up every once in awhile and read another chapter - especially because it wasn't designed as a book. It's a collection of his speeches and essays -but put in an order that would make the most sense - so it's slightly repetitive.
Joe Hunt
I think this is one of the finest religious books ever!

And it goes through everything--a ton of stuff...

fr/ an apocalyptic excerpt about Abraham seeing a star born or dying. And he's like "What's going on? This is spooky."

And of course a lot on temples. An interesting piece on how it can be a circle and a square at the same time. (I think Picasso talked about that: "Squaring the circle.")

But, so, a temple can be the center of the world--but, then, you can have more than one. And they're like lit...more
Sirpa Grierson
It is not that I love Hugh Nibley's writing style so much; but he is the ultimate historio-archeological packrat and has researched every topic of interest to him to the nth degree of what is available in the scholarship of the world at a given time. Fascinating and fabulous romp through the world of ideas. He additionally leaves you to draw your own conclusions, which I appreciate!

My favorite chapters (now that I am finally done with all 600 pages) are 3 & 7. What a gift to be trusted by an...more
Michael
A line from page 64 aptly summarizes Nibley's work: "It is because others are engaged in the work that we know that we are not just imagining it." It's been said that metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct, and that's mostly what I found here. He frequently cherrypicks his evidence, resorts to ad hominem attacks, and, in the sections originally delivered orally, uses an exasperating tone. Clever, yes; erudite, without question; useful in answering the Great Q...more
JJ
For me the most interesting of the Nibley books. Nibley surveys religious temples throughout the world and history drawing parallels among the key functions and rites associated with them.

The consistencies among the various temples leads the reader to believe there may be one central source, either historical, geographical, or spiritual behind the various temple cultures in history.

This book launched me into an enduring fascination with ancient texts and ancient ritual.
Hyrum
Great insight into ancient civilizations and their view of the temple. Wide references sited. Many things learned are intentionally not spelled out in the text.
Heather
Kind of interesting. "The temple is a point of reference, a place where you take your bearings on the universe (p. 141)."
Keith Kendall
This morning [March 2, 2014] we went to the Gilbert Temple Dedication. I came home with lots of thoughts running through my head. After pondering for a few minutes, I decided to begin reading the book Temple and Cosmos, one of the volumes of the collected works of Hugh Nibley.

The first chapter was fascinating. The first four chapters are on temples. The balance, and majority of the book is on Cosmos.

"In 1816, the apocrypha were outlawed by the American Bible Society (which had great influence)....more
Josh
Temple and Cosmos is a compilation of various talks and lectures by one of the most brilliant and educated mormon philosophers of our day, Hugh Nibley. Becuase Hugh is much more intelligent than I am, many of the concepts and even vocabulary in this book were difficult to understand. However, I was blown away by some of the things that he discusses. It was very interesting how he explained temple cerimonies of many different ancient cultures and how they are similar to how we learn and worship i...more
Phillip
This collection of essays provides a smorgasbord of samplings from the ancient records that have been uncovered in the Mid-Eeast and other areas since World War II. Hugh Nibley's emphasis is on finding the commonalities between various ancient religious practices and beliefs.

While it is enlightening to hold his findings up against the template of the restored gospel, it becomes equally fascinating to be exposed to the broad variety of cultures that have peppered earth's history.

As the essays wer...more
Jared
Aug 07, 2008 Jared rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who wish to learn the depth of the LDS temple
Way to go Hugh! I put this book down for a while and came back to it, but I was delighted to see how quickly I became attached to it again. Dr. Nibley is full of very philosphical points that are very powerful when it comes to defending the church and attacking it's critics. In many of the chpaters(?) of this book Nibley explores the temples in the ancient world and finds several common threads with the modern day LDS temple. Learning about past cultures and their temple worship gave me valuable...more
Eric
Lots of great essays on the topic of the temple and the view of the cosmos from ancient and modern perspectives. As always, Nibley does a great job of taking the esoteric and grounding it into the things we do and think about every day. In a way, that is the fundamental point of this book- that the cosmology of our religion should be as tangible and real as the things of this world. All through history, professors subscribing to the philosophies of men have pushed religious concepts into the rea...more
Erin
Fabulous book. I always assumed Nibley would be above my level of understanding, but I actually found his style very approachable, probably because I believe these are basically speeches he gave, or material that was meant to be presented in speech form. So, I'm not sure if other works of his will be like this, but this book was pretty easy to digest. I read this before I went to the temple for the first time (along with the proverbial Packer "The Holy Temple"), and I think it helped me digest w...more
Doris
So many deep teachings in this book. I know that Nibley was no prophet, but the Spirit confirms so many of the things in this book. It has helped broaden my perspective and understanding of the gospel. It has also helped me understand there are many things I will not understand in this life. Oddly, this gave me some peace. I won't try quite so hard in the future. I will still study and search and learn, but I won't stress when there's something I don't understand. I'll learn as I go, bit by bit,...more
Heather
Nibley was brilliant and this book reflects that brilliance. It's not only fascinating, but also enlightening. There were often times when I felt almost overcome by the profoundness of his insights. I think some people are bothered by the not infrequent tangents that Nibley indulges in, but I didn't find any of them bothersome because they were always productive and most often led to more valuable insights (even though they weren't directly related to the topic at hand). Since Nibley was such a...more
Chris Tucker
Understand you are reading something that uses big words and the author himself pulls from so many different times and text. I personally loved the depth and the challenge the reading provided me. It was for sure out of my comfort zone when I read it and I find myself thinking back to it many times as I ponder on the lessons of the temple. This does not go into anything deep other than giving one an appreciation for the connection of the temples of the world to the cosmos and how the temples gui...more
Jake
Although Nibley has a great sense of humor, and is extremely well-read in a number of languages, when he starts talking about proof for Mormon scripture he uses shoddy scholarship.

To understand Nibley's approach to scholarship, see:
Salmon, Douglas F. "Parallelomania and the Study of Latter-day Scripture: Confirmation, Coincidence, or the Collective Subconscious? Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 129-156.

To really understand the LDS temple, read "The Mysteries of Godl...more
Bonnie Atkinson
Reading this book was a mind-opener in eternal leadership, as I read it at the same time as I was reading True North and that Arbinger Institute book on leadership. I'm so glad I did. I like having very large pictures in mind when I think about very small time frame efforts, like building one's own career. It made both the present and the big picture efforts much more meaningful. I'm a fan of True North, not so much so that Arbinger book, and very much so T&C. It's worth a few notes and rere...more
Chrishna
This is the third time I have read this book. Nibley is an LDS scholar and he beautifully weaves a history of temples throughout time. He easily moves between Egyptian, Jewish and other ancient temple structure, symbology and rites. It reads like a college text and and assumes a certain familiarity with ancient texts but it manages to be spiritually enlightening while being a bit academic. One of my all time favorite books. An absolute must read for my LDS friends.
Michael Adamson
An amazing book! Not bedtime reading, but what Nibley book is. Greatly increased my understanding of the LDS Temple endowment. I would highly recommend this book in conjunction with daily scripture reading! I have read it through 3 times.

This is a great book and will help in many aspects of life. It is in-depth, but well worth taking the time to ponder, read and pray about.! Agin, it can be tedious, but very rewarding reading. It will change your life, I promise.
Tyler
The Temple in Latter-day Saint thought is virtually unparalleled in the theological world. Nibley has done wonderful things for LDS scholarship in relation to the Temple, its ministry, and practices. Of particular interest in this volume for me was Nibley's treatment of the term "telestial" in etymological thought, which has done well to silence the tongues of critics who otherwise seek to demean Joseph Smith's prophetic calling. An essential item for an LDS-home-library.
Dale
If you are looking for a greater temple experience, then simply read the first two chapters in Dr. Nibley’s book. Admittedly, some of his foot notes are impossible to trace, this is partially due to his collection of extremely rare books he acquired during the WWII, and his diverse language abilities. However, I know of no other book that combines so many sources to paint a very clear picture of the purpose of our universe and the place of the temple within it.
Jonathan
Reading Hugh Nibley can be at times like reading a stream of consciousness bordering on rambling. However, I really liked the interesting points he brings up. One consistent theme I see in his works is the unity in belief across cultures and times: the periodic gatherings and rites. This book is wonderful for those with the time and interest in digging deeper into the historic underpinnings of the temple.
Debbie
The collection of talks given by Hugh Nibley in "Temple and Cosmos" is really inconsistent. Some of the chapters are fascinating and thought provoking. Others ramble and arrive at no clear conclusion. I learned a lot from this book, but it is not for the faint of heart. This is a meaty book filled with a lot of deep thinking. I would recommend this book, but only to those who are prepared to read it.
Bookwyrmgyrl
Dec 22, 2012 Bookwyrmgyrl added it
Shelves: religious
Bravo! What a phenominal writer. Reading NIbley is like enjoying a fantastically rich dessert. You take small bites and just savor! In this volume I particularly enjoyed the chapter entitled "Do Religion and History Conflict?" His numbered points were so well-stated that I cheered out loud. I hope to read many more of his works.
James Miller
Amazing title. One of the most interesting books I have ever read. This is Nibley's philosophical view of the metaphysical to the extreme. Almost the entire book is speculation. The way he thinks about the creation, space, physics and how they all relate to the temple is unreal. Amazing.
Eric
FINALLY! After many months, I've finished this massive tome! And what a great read it was. It's certainly not light reading, and I often found myself needing to just let it fly right over my head without a passing glance. Still, for fans of Nibley, this is essential material.
Brigham
This book took me forever to read so, by the end, I could barely remember what was at the beginning. But going through it quickly, looking at what I had underlined, there was so pretty interesting stuff in it. But also plenty that, at least at the time, seemed okay to just skim over.
Rachel
So far this book is fascinating and precisely what I was looking for - not so much a testimony of the temple, although there is definitely that, as much as an education in it. I think about it during the day and look forward to settling down to read it at night.
Ron
Not always lucid, Nibley is the true academic and his ramblings into the realms of antiquity and temples is nonetheless insightful and enlightening. His grasp of the temple and it as a centering power is worth multiple readings.
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152474
Hugh Winder Nibley was one of Mormonism's most celebrated scholars. Nibley is notable for his extensive research and publication on ancient languages and culture, his vigorous defense of doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for frankly discussing what he saw as the shortcomings of the LDS people and culture.

A prolific author and professor of ancient scripture at Brigham...more
More about Hugh Nibley...
Approaching Zion (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 9) Lehi in the Desert, the World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 5) An Approach to the Book of Mormon (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 6) Enoch the Prophet (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 2) Mormonism and Early Christianity (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 4)

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