The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation / Edition 1

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Overview

"The past few decades have witnessed an increasing reaction of the Mormons against their own successful assimilation," Armand Mauss writes in The Angel and the Beehive, "as though trying to recover some of the cultural tension and special identity associated with their earlier 'sect-like' history." This retrenchment among Mormons is the main theme of Mauss's book, which analyzes the last forty years of Mormon history from a sociological perspective. At the official ecclesiastical level, Mauss finds, the retrenchment can be seen in the greatly increased centralization of bureaucratic control and in renewed emphases on obedience to modern prophets, on genealogy and vicarious temple work, and on traditional family life; retrenchment is also apparent in extensive formal religious indoctrination by full-time professionals and in an increased sophistication and intensity of proselytizing. At what he refers to as "the folk or grassroots level," Mauss finds that Mormons have generally been compliant with the retrenchment effort and are today at least as "religious" on most measures as they were in the 1960s. A sizable segment of the Mormon membership, Mauss asserts, has gone beyond "Mormon" retrenchment to express itself in a growing resort to Protestant fundamentalism, both in scriptural understanding and in intellectual style. The author calls on a wide array of sources in sociology and history to show that Mormons, who by mid-century had come a long way from their position as disreputable "outsiders" in a society dominated by the mainline religions, seem now to be adopting more conservative ways and seeking a return to a more sectarian posture.

Mauss' book analyzes the last 40 years of Mormon history from a sociological perspective, calling on a wide array of sources in sociology and history to show that Mormons, who had come a long way from their position as "outsiders" in a society dominated by the traditional religions, seem to be adopting more conservative ways and seeking a return to a more sectarian posture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252020711
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Mormon Movement in Metaphor and Theory 3
2 Mormons as a Case Study in Assimilation 21
3 Mormon Religious Beliefs at Midcentury 33
4 Mormon Social and Political Beliefs at Midcentury 46
5 Midcentury Mormon Peculiarity and Its Prospects 60
6 The Official Response to Assimilation 77
7 The Retrenchment Motif: Two Case Studies 102
8 The Grass-Roots Response to Official Retrenchment 123
9 Modern Mormon Religiosity and Its Consequences 141
10 Mormon Fundamentalism: The Institutional Matrix 157
11 Expressions of Folk Fundamentalism 177
12 The Angel and the Beehive: Present and Future 196
Appendix: Survey Methods and Measurements 215
References 229
Index 251
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