"Bushman offers a usable, essentially popular introduction to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with unique attention to the character of the church today. Bushman covers familiar historical and theological ground (dealt with more completely in other books), but uses interviews with church members and very recent news items to retain a focus on today's church throughout the book. Few books are as able to contextualize aspects (mundane, practical, political) of the contemporary church against the historical/theological backdrop in a way that is accessible and fair to the uninitiated. Bushman is a believing Mormon and aspects of the book are perhaps informed by this fact; the diversity of the church she emphasizes is real, for example, but her typical congregations would likely appear quite unusual to the average American Mormon and basically parallel the church's public relations materials. However, she manages to deal with a wide variety of often controversial subjects in an honest way....Recommended. General and undergraduate collections."
"This book is a welcome addition to a growing list of solid introductory works on the Latter-day Saints....Claudia Bushman is among the most productive and knowledgeable scholars in the field of Mormon studies today....This is a truly engaging introduction to real life among today's Mormons in the United States. It deserves widespread adoption in college classes, and it will inform general readers from a grassroots perspective...."
"Written by a leading Mormon historian, this book provides insight into attitudes, policies, and beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"The text is readable, and the chapters cover almost everything that one would want to know about contemporary Mormonism....Overall this is an excellent book for someone trying to gain a balanced understanding of Mormonism as it is today."
"A Mormon herself, Bushman describes contemporary practices in the religion through her own experiences, the experiences of others, and church documents. She explains the organization of the church, its services, beliefs, ideas about family structure, missionary endeavors, temples, genealogical activities, and issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation. She also discusses the church in public life, its intellectual activities, and Salt Lake City."
"[T]his book is a welcome addition to the already burgeoning literature about the Mormons. Claudia Bushman allows Mormons themselves to speak as she looks at such topics as identity, families, missionary experience, temples, race, gender and sexual orientation, and intellectual activities. In treating such commonplace worship as fast-and-testimony meeting, Bushman brings a refreshingly straightforward style."
"A welcome alternative to the Mormon blogs that only praise or only condemn this fascinating church, Contemporary Mormonism is friendly, objective, probing and very, very informative. Claudia Bushman has done us all a great service."
"The vast majority of books about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are written with an overt agenda--usually by an enemy to convince the reader that Mormons are wicked dupes, or by a devout church member to try to make a convert. It is invigorating to find an author who just tries to describe the church in an accurate manner, letting the reader draw his or her own conclusions."