Revisiting Thomas F. O Deas The Mormons: Contemporary Perspectives

Overview


Fifty years ago, Thomas F. O’Dea, a Catholic sociologist who taught at the University of Utah from 1959 to 1964, published a landmark study titled simply The Mormons. It remains one of the most widely cited social science treatments of Mormon society and culture.

Now, after five decades of additional scholarly inquiry, this volume revisits O’Dea’s life and work, while offering new insights about the LDS Church and its members. Scholars from the U.S. and Europe contribute to an ...

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Overview


Fifty years ago, Thomas F. O’Dea, a Catholic sociologist who taught at the University of Utah from 1959 to 1964, published a landmark study titled simply The Mormons. It remains one of the most widely cited social science treatments of Mormon society and culture.

Now, after five decades of additional scholarly inquiry, this volume revisits O’Dea’s life and work, while offering new insights about the LDS Church and its members. Scholars from the U.S. and Europe contribute to an examination of the interplay between contemporary social issues and the church, including such topics as civil rights, the women’s movement, homosexuality, rising divorce rates, and childbirth outside marriage. The relationship of the church to the nation is considered. Finally, issues relating to the international church are also discussed.

Drawing from diverse fields such as sociology, economics, theology, psychology, and anthropology, each contribution offers a reflection of O’Dea’s The Mormons while considering the persistent themes and contemporary issues that face the church today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Collectively, the chapters in this volume make a meaningful contribution in their own right to an enhanced understanding of the religion and culture of contemporary Latter-day Saints."—Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

"Written by a stable of scientists, most not part of the LDS Church, Revisiting Thomas F. O'Dea's 'The Mormons,' already has spurred a daylong university symposium and is likely to provide fodder for those who study the church—and more directly, its members—for some time to come."
Deseret News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874809206
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2008
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Cardell K. Jacobson is professor in the department of sociology at Brigham Young University.

John P. Hoffmann is professor in the department of sociology at Brigham Young University.

Tim B. Heaton is professor in the department of sociology at Brigham Young University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Situating O'Dea among The Mormons   Cardell K. Jacobson   John P. Hoffmann   Tim B. Heaton     vii
Engaging O'Dea
Thomas F. O'Dea: The New Spirit and Science of Mormon Studies   Lynn England     3
Thomas F. O'Dea and Mormon Intellectual Life: A Reassessment Fifty Years Later   O. Kendall White Jr.     21
Mastery and Mystery   Douglas J. Davies     56
"Common Sense" Meets the Book of Mormon: Source, Substance, and Prophetic Disruption   Terryl L. Givens     79
Contemporary Social Issues
LDS Family Ideals versus the Equality of Women: Navigating the Changes since 1957   Carrie A. Miles     101
Mormon Women's Issues in the Twenty-first Century   Janet Bennion     135
The Peril and Promise of Social Prognosis: O'Dea and the Race Issue   Armand L. Mauss     160
The Current Crisis in the Formation and Regulation of Latter-day Saints' Sexual Identity   Melvyn Hammarberg     184
Mormons and the State   Michael Nielsen   Barry Balleck     236
Preserving Peculiarity as a People: Mormon Distinctness in Lived Values and Internal Structure   Loren Marks   Brent D. Beal     258
The International Church
From Near-Nation to New World Religion?   Armand L. Mauss     289
Growth, Retention, and Internationalization   David G. Stewart Jr.     328
The Mormons of the World: The Meaning of LDS Membership in Central America   Henri Gooren     362
Go Ye to All the World: The LDS Church and the Organization of International Society   David Clark Knowlton     389
"That Same Sociality": Mormons and Globalization in the Twenty-first Century   Sarah Busse Spencer     413
Biography of Thomas F. O'Dea     437
Contributors     441
Index     445
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