Mormon People The Making of an American Faith

ISBN-10: 0679644903
ISBN-13: 9780679644903
Edition: 2012
Authors: Matthew Bowman
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Description: With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date: 1/24/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.75" wide x 10.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer and sometime treasure hunter named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and known informally as the Mormons). One of the nascent faith’s early initiates was a twenty-three-year-old Ohio farmer named Parley Pratt, the distant grandfather of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. InAmerican Revelation,religious historian Matthew Bowman peels back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of twenty-first-century, and ably sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this “all-American” faith is perceived by the wider American public—and internationally. Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved—and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in “magic underwear.” Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mormons in the world, fewer than half of whom live inside the United States. It is a church with a powerful sense of its own identity and an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture. Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. In such a time,American Revelationcomes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history—a frank and fair-minded demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.

Matthew Bowmanreceived his Ph.D. in American religious history from Georgetown University in May 2011, and a masterrsquo;s in American history from the University of Utah. His dissertation, ldquo;The Urban Pulpit: Evangelicals and the City in New York, 1880ndash;1930,rdquo; was funded by the prestigious Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. His work on American evangelicism and Mormonism has appeared in, among other places,Religion and American Culture:A Journal of Interpretation, Journal of the Early Republic,andThe New Republic. The associate editor ofDialogue:A Journal of Mormon Thought,Matthew Bowman teaches at Hampden-Sydney College.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Joseph Smith and the first Mormons: TO 1831
Little Zion�s: 1831-1839
City of Joseph: 1839-1846
Come, Come, Ye Saints: 1846-1877
The Rise and Fall of Plural Marriage: 1852-1896
Eternal progression: 1890-1945
Correlation: 1945-1.978
Toward a Global Church: 1978-2011
Conclusion
The Mormon Hierarchy
mormon scripture
cast of characters
the family: a proclamation to the world
bibliographic essay
notes
index

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