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Journal of the Bible and its Reception

Managing Editor: MacDonald, Nathan / Marsengill, Katherine

Ed. by Black, Fiona C. / Burnette-Bletsch, Rhonda / Oekland, Jorunn / Kraemer, David / Ocker, Christopher

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2329-4434
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The Prophetess of Endor: Reception of 1 Samuel 28 in Nineteenth Century Mormon History

Christopher James Blythe
  • Corresponding author
  • Historian/Documentary Editor, Joseph Smith Papers, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Email:
Published Online: 2017-06-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2002

Abstract

This article documents one strain of Mormon thought concerning the Woman of Endor narrative in 1 Samuel 28, in which the woman was interpreted as a prophetess enabled to raise the dead through her spiritual gifts. Church leaders eventually condemned this narrative because of its similarities with Spiritualist exegesis and American Christianity’s use of the narrative to condemn Spiritualism as necromancy. Through establishing an orthodox reading of the passage, leaders strengthened the boundaries separating the two faiths – boundaries that many Spiritualists had argued were at best blurry and overlapping.

Keywords: Witch; Endor; Spiritualism; Mormonism; Saul; Samuel

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-23

Published in Print: 2017-04-25


Citation Information: Journal of the Bible and its Reception, ISSN (Online) 2329-4434, ISSN (Print) 2329-440X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2002.

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