Religion And Public Life In The Mountain West

Overview

Huge mountain ranges and vast uninhabited areas characterize the Mountain West. The region is home to several dense urban centers, but there is enough space between cities for three very distinct religious cultures to develop. Arizona and New Mexico's religious public life is still dominated by the Catholic church which was in place three centuries before these areas became U.S. states. Mormons came to Utah and Idaho in the 19th century to set up their own church-state and only later were admitted to the Union. ...

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Religion and Public Life in the Mountain West: Sacred Landscapes in Transition

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Overview

Huge mountain ranges and vast uninhabited areas characterize the Mountain West. The region is home to several dense urban centers, but there is enough space between cities for three very distinct religious cultures to develop. Arizona and New Mexico's religious public life is still dominated by the Catholic church which was in place three centuries before these areas became U.S. states. Mormons came to Utah and Idaho in the 19th century to set up their own church-state and only later were admitted to the Union. Religious minorities from Native Americans to 'mainstream' Protestants must contend with these religious establishments. In the third subregion of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana no one religious body dominates and many inhabitants claim no religious affiliation at all. Religion and Public Life in the Mountain West explores these three distinct religious regions but then goes on to see how they work together and what they have in common.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This volume contains five essays that present not only demographics but also analyses and overviews that highlight the religious uniqueness of the Mountain West and invite comparisons with other regions of America. A chapter on demographics by Walter Nugent describing the Mountain West as an "oasis culture" is complemented by Ferenc Szasz's essay on the role of religion in creating a social infrastructure in the region. A wise editorial decision then breaks the region into three subregions that are examined in the remaining essays. Randi Walker discusses Catholicism in Arizona and New Meexico, alerting readers to some unexpected ways that religion finds expression in public life. In a carefully nuanced essay, Kathleen Flake argues that theological uniqueness and the recollection of persecution in the past almost insure the continued tension between the Latter Day Saints and other religious groups in the region. The interesting aspects of Philip Deloria's essay include his comparison of the religious ambiance of Boulder with Colorado Springs, and his treament of religion among Native Americans. The introduction and conclusion by Jan Shipps sound high notes at the beginn and end of the collection. Recommended. Undergraduate and graduate students; general readers.
CHOICE
This volume contains five essays that present not only demographics but also analyses and overviews that highlight the religious uniqueness of the Mountain West and invite comparisons with other regions of America. A chapter on demographics by Walter Nugent describing the Mountain West as an "oasis culture" is complemented by Ferenc Szasz's essay on the role of religion in creating a social infrastructure in the region. A wise editorial decision then breaks the region into three subregions that are examined in the remaining essays. Randi Walker discusses Catholicism in Arizona and New Meexico, alerting readers to some unexpected ways that religion finds expression in public life. In a carefully nuanced essay, Kathleen Flake argues that theological uniqueness and the recollection of persecution in the past almost insure the continued tension between the Latter Day Saints and other religious groups in the region. The interesting aspects of Philip Deloria's essay include his comparison of the religious ambiance of Boulder with Colorado Springs, and his treament of religion among Native Americans. The introduction and conclusion by Jan Shipps sound high notes at the beginn and end of the collection. Recommended. Undergraduate and graduate students; general readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759106260
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Series: Religion by Region Series , #2
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Shipps is Professor Emerita of History and Religious Studies at Indiana Univeristy-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Shipps is author of Sojourner in the Promised Land and Mormonism: The Story of A New Religious Tradition. Mark Silk is the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in the Public Life and adjunct associate professor of religion at Trinity College. Silk is the author of Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America and Spiritual Politics: Religion and American Society Since World War II.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction—Religion in the Mountain West:Geography as Destiny 2 The Religious Demography of an Oasis Culture 3 How Religion Created an Infrastructure for the Mountain West 4 The Mormon Corridor:Utah and Idaho 5 Catholic Heartland in Transition: Arizona and New Mexico 6 Polarized Tribes: Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana 7 Conclusion—Sacred Landscapes in Tension

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