Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism

Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism

by Hans A. Baer
     
 

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Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism is the account of a millenarian sect, officially known as the Aaronic Order, one of the main splinter groups of the Mormon Church. Their story tells us much about the social tensions, particularly along class lines, that have emerged in Mormonism.

The Aaronic Order, or Levites, emerged

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Overview

Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism is the account of a millenarian sect, officially known as the Aaronic Order, one of the main splinter groups of the Mormon Church. Their story tells us much about the social tensions, particularly along class lines, that have emerged in Mormonism.

The Aaronic Order, or Levites, emerged as the Mormon Church evolved from a religious utopia in the Midwest, to a near nation-state in the Intermountain West, to finally an international theocratic corporation. Drawing upon the concept of revitalization movements, the Levite sect is viewed as an attempt by working-class Mormons to resurrect the communitarian ideals they perceived as characteristic of earlier nineteenth-century Mormonism. From their beginnings in the Depression, the Levites have developed a series of cooperative and communal ventures in Utah, based upon the revelations of Maurice Glendenning.

We see in the Levites the seemingly inevitable processes of institutionalization and fission characterizing revitalization movements that survive. By explaining the impetus for the development of sectarian groups such as the Levites, the author offers important insights for the discussion of religious communitarianism and schizmatic movements in contemporary religion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is a tastefully written examination of a religious sect. The work illuminates much about the development of American religious sects generally in the process of dealing with this one.” — Armand L. Mauss, Washington State University
Booknews
An account of a millenarian sect, officially known as the Aaronic Order or Levites, one of the main splinter groups of the Morman Church. Its history tells much about the social tensions, particularly along class lines, that have emerged in Mormonism and offers important insights for the study of religious communitarianism and schizmatic movements in contemporary religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887066825
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/01/1988
Pages:
225

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