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Scholars have labeled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism as it is better known, both the American Religion, and the next world faith. The Mormon saga includes early persecution, conflict, and pioneer resilience, against a backdrop of revolutionary religious, social, and economic practices. The greatest colonizing force in American history, Mormonism has outgrown its 19th-century isolation and theocratic roots to become one of the most prosperous and respected Christian communities in the country. This book examines the history of the movement, and considers carefully the reasons behind a perennial discord with American culture—and the American government—that only waned in the early decades of the 20th century. Givens also considers the range of Mormon doctrines—both familiar and peculiar—and overviews the background and content of the unique canon of Mormon scripture.
The Latter-day Saint Experience in America examines all aspects of how Mormons live, work, and worship. The book discusses: Mormon worship and Church organization; The intellectual and artistic heritage of the Latter-day Saints; Official Church teachings across a span of contemporary issues, from feminism to race to the environment; The tensions and future directions of the modern Church. Abundant appendices include a glossary of Mormonism, a timeline, a comparison with other Christian creeds, biographical sketches of Mormon luminaries, and an annotated bibliography useful for further study.
- Table of Contents
Introduction: What Is a Mormon?A Homegrown Religion: Mormonism in America and America in Mormonism"These War-like Fanatics": Anti-Mormonism in American HistoryChristians with a Difference: Orthodoxy and Heresy in LDS ThoughtMaking Scripture: The Mormon CanonTemple, Church, and Family: LDS Worship and Organization"All things are spiritual": The Church, Politics, and Society"If there is anything lovely or praiseworthy": Intellectual and Cultural Life of the Latter-day SaintsSchisms, Secularism, and a Global ChurchThe Prophets and Other NotablesThe Articles of FaithCreeds, Confessions, and Mormonism: A ComparisonTimelineGlossarySelect, Annotated BibliographyLDS Membership Growth
This is an impressive work....[a] fine volume when read by anyone wanting a comprehensive and sometimes-critical look at the Mormon Restoration movement. It deserves a wide readership.
Would this be a good resource for a college class on American religion? The answer is a resounding yes. But I was amazed to find even more than that: there's quite a bit here for Church members to chew on....Givens has done it remarkably well. This is the best introduction to the Church, and there's plenty here to keep the lifelong member engaged. I'm pleased to have something to recommend to nonmembers, new members, and everyone else.