Mormons in America / Edition 1

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Mormonism is one of the world's fastest growing religions, doubling its membership every 15 years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the formal denomination of the Mormon church) is now 10 million strong, with more than half of its membership coming from outside the United States. More than 88 million copies of The Book of Mormon have been printed, and it has been translated into more than 50 languages. Mormons in America tells the tumultuous story of this religious group, from its humble origins in small-town New York State in 1830 to its present heyday. Claudia and Richard Bushman introduce us to charismatic leaders like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, go deep behind Mormon rites and traditions, take us along the adventurous trail of the Mormon pioneers into the West, evoke the momentous erection of Salt Lake City in the desert, and draw us into the dozens of skirmishes, verbal attacks, and court battles between Mormons and their neighbors, other religions, the media, and the American government.

Religion in American Life explores the evolution, character, and dynamic of organized religion in America from 1500 to the present day. Written by distinguished historians of religion, these books weave together the varying stories that compose the religious fabric of the United States, from Puritanism to alternative religious practices. Primary source material coupled with handsome illustrations and lucid text make these books essential in any exploration of America's diverse nature. Each book includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and an index.

Chronicles the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints beginning in America in the early 1800s and continuing to the present day throughout the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Tells the remarkable story of how a new religion was born, developed amid persecution and hardship, and became one of the world's fastest growing faiths... Gives great insight into Mormon beliefs and the elaborate organization of community life that is a hallmark of the faith."--The Christian Science Monitor

"A well-rounded treatment that not only presents readers with the facts but also deals with questions that naturally arise... While emphasizing the strengths of Mormonism, the book also looks carefully at some of the controversies that have surrounded it... A strong resource for libraries."--Booklist

"A rich and sympathetic portrayal of what for a time was America's most persecuted religious minority."--The Wall Street Journal

"An engaging and accessible overview ... An informative, sympathetic introduction to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A major strength of this book is its graceful prose."--Religious Studies in Secondary Schools

"An admirable and objective history of the Mormon church... Invaluable for any reader wanting to learn something about the Mormon religion; even Mormon readers will find this book a very useful guide to their church's history."--VOYA

"A clear, concise, and unbiased account of Mormon history, especially as it relates to the issue of church and state. [The Bushmans] are honest about the number of disaffected Mormons and examine problems within Mormon history, such as the relationship with Native Americans.... Serious treatment of the subject at hand in a way that makes [it] attractive for popular reading by combining text, photographs and original documents."--Library Journal

Praise for the Religion in American Life series:

"This series, written in a style that would be accessible to bright high-schoolers, promises to be an excellent supplement to textbooks that too often downplay the central role religion has played in American history."--Library Journal

"[The] texts are concise..., engagingly written, and well illustrated.... Promises to be a lively and accessible read for anyone interested in the various human dramas that constitute America's religious journey. As religious diversity is now growing in the US, and some are concerned about what values will hold the country together, a series that explains Americans clearly to one another is something to be valued."--The Christian Science Monitor

"The Religion in American Life series meets a need as we strive to educate students beyond the ignorance and confusion that often breeds intolerance."--MultiCultural Review

VOYA - Chris Crowe
Mormons tend to be leery of books about their religion because they are often thinly disguised attacks. On the other hand, some books about Mormons written by Mormons are so defensive that they lack objectivity for readers outside of the religion. Here, Bushman and Bushman have produced an admirable and objective history of the Mormon church from its founding in 1830 to the present. A part of Oxford's Religion in American Life series, this volume presents a concise account of the religion's establishment and growth in the United States. The book opens with the story of Joseph Smith's first visions and his subsequent efforts to translate and publish The Book of Mormon and organize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The chapters that follow detail the Mormons' early attempts to create religious communities in increasingly hostile environments and their eventual migration west to establish a permanent colony in Utah. A chapter devoted to women in the early church rejects the notion that Mormon women were mere chattel by pointing out the important roles women played in establishing and maintaining the religion. The final two chapters discuss Mormon integration into the American mainstream after the turn of the century and the rapid growth of the church in recent years. The text is complemented with a good supply of photos and reproductions of historical artifacts, and concludes with a detailed chronology and a thorough list of books for further reading. This volume will be invaluable for any reader wanting to learn something about the Mormon religion; even Mormon readers will find this book a very useful guide to their church's history. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
This entry in Oxford's Religion in American Life series is a scholarly and well-researched history of Mormonism in America. Begun in 1830, it is one of the world's fastest-growing Christian religions, with more than 10 million members, and a membership that doubles every 15 years. The Laupers explain, in addition to traditional Christian doctrines, the role of the Book of Mormonnrevelations published by Joseph Smith when he was only 24 years old. The authors also cover the controversies, e.g., the Mormon practice of polygamy. This balanced presentation reveals how the church's members aim to develop a faith "strong enough to withstand the reverses and temptations of daily life." Readers will be left with a great appreciation for the determination and spiritualism of the Mormons. (b&w photographs and reproductions, chronology, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195106770
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Religion in American Life Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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