The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-Day Saints

The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-Day Saints

by Melvyn Hammarberg
     
 

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 6 million members in the United States today (and 13 million worldwide). Yet, while there has been extensive study of Mormon history, comparatively little scholarly attention has been paid to contemporary Mormons. The best sociological study of Mormon life, Thomas O'Dea's The Mormons, is now over fifty years old.

Overview

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 6 million members in the United States today (and 13 million worldwide). Yet, while there has been extensive study of Mormon history, comparatively little scholarly attention has been paid to contemporary Mormons. The best sociological study of Mormon life, Thomas O'Dea's The Mormons, is now over fifty years old. What is it like to be a Mormon in America today? Melvyn Hammarberg attempts to answer this question by offering an ethnography of contemporary Mormons. In The Mormon Quest for Glory, Hammarberg examines Mormon history, rituals, social organization, family connections, gender roles, artistic traditions, use of media, and missionary work. He writes as a sympathetic outsider who has studied Mormon life for decades, and strives to explain the religious world of the Latter-day Saints through the lens of their own spiritual understanding. Drawing on a survey, participant observation, interviews, focus groups, attendance at religious gatherings, diaries, church periodicals, lesson manuals, and other church literature, Hammarberg aims to present a comprehensive picture of the religious world of the Latter-day Saints.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hammarberg's study should be essential reading for students of contemporary Mormonism for years to come. His focus on identity formation helps readers navigate their way through the Mormon life plan. This volume is recommended for scholars, undergraduate and graduate courses in religious and Mormon studies, and those interested in LDS culture and identity formation."—Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions

"The Mormon Quest for Glory will join the social science canon on Mormonism for years to come." —Sociology of Religion

"The Mormon Quest for Glory is different than other existing LDS survey books in that it provides an in-depth sociological look at the religion in a way that has not been done since Thomas O Dea s The Mormons was published in 1957. Hammarberg s immersion into LDS culture allows him to write knowledgeably about the Church as it stands today."—BYU Studies Quarterly

"While several sympathetic outsider perspectives of Mormonism have appeared since [Thomas O'Dea's The Mormons] none has captured the lived experience of the Mormon people so well Melvyn Hammarberg's The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-day Saints . [A] rich source for those who want to understand the lived experience of contemporary Mormonism." —Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Anyone reading The Mormon Quest for Glory will come away with a good grasp of the Mormon way of life-what it's like to believe and live as a Mormon from day to day. It is also authentic: Anyone living as a Mormon in a local Mormon ward (congregation, community) would agree, 'Yeah-that's us. That's the way it is.' Such is quite an accomplishment for a non-Mormon ethnographer, and Hammarberg is to be congratulated." —Armand L. Mauss, Washington State University

"Hammarberg's engaging ethnography of modern Mormonism systematically demonstrates how a cohesive religious culture effectively shapes the values, identities, and lives of its members, providing humanizing insights into the actual practice of the LDS faith not previously assembled in a single volume." —Gordon Shepherd, co-author of Binding Heaven and Earth: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism

"Meticulously researched with engaging interviews and observations, The Mormon Quest for Glory is an excellent ethnography of Mormonism. Hammarberg's extensive research on Mormonism will provide anyone interested in the religion, regardless of how little or much they know, with an 'insider's' perspective on Mormonism by carefully translating the details of a complex religious 'life-world' into a language that 'outsiders' can understand." — Ryan Cragun, University of Tampa

"The Mormon Quest for Glory is a theoretically grounded psycho-ethnography of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) that nicely updates the classic study Mormon Lives by Susan Buhler Taber (1993)... The Mormon Quest for Glory will join the social science canon on Mormonism for years to come." —Sociology of Religion

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199737628
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Melvyn Hammarberg is Associate Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at University of Pennsylvania.

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