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The Latter-Day Saint Experience in America (The American Religious Experience) [Hardcover]

Terryl L. Givens

Price: £39.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2004 The American Religious Experience
Scholars have labeled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism as it is better known, both the American Religion, and the next world faith. The Mormon saga includes early persecution, conflict, and pioneer resilience, against a backdrop of revolutionary religious, social, and economic practices. The greatest colonizing force in American history, Mormonism has outgrown its 19th-century isolation and theocratic roots to become one of the most prosperous and respected Christian communities in the country. This book examines the history of the movement, and considers carefully the reasons behind a perennial discord with American culture-and the American government-that only waned in the early decades of the 20th century. Givens also considers the range of Mormon doctrines-both familiar and peculiar-and overviews the background and content of the unique canon of Mormon scripture. The Latter-day Saint Experience in America examines all aspects of how Mormons live, work, and worship. The book discusses: Mormon worship and Church organization; The intellectual and artistic heritage of the Latter-day Saints; Official Church teachings across a span of contemporary issues, from feminism to race to the environment; The tensions and future directions of the modern Church. Abundant appendices include a glossary of Mormonism, a timeline, a comparison with other Christian creeds, biographical sketches of Mormon luminaries, and an annotated bibliography useful for further study.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press; annotated edition edition (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313327505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313327506
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,776,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

?Would this be a good resource for a college class on American religion? The answer is a resounding yes. But I was amazed to find even more than that: there's quite a bit here for Church members to chew on....Givens has done it remarkably well. This is the best introduction to the Church, and there's plenty here to keep the lifelong member engaged. I'm pleased to have something to recommend to nonmembers, new members, and everyone else.?-Times and Seasons

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative experience 21 Feb 2007
By Raymond Swenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Professor Givens, in his prior books on Mormonism, Viper on the Hearth (concerning the media depcition of Mormonism) and By the Hand of Mormon (a ground-breaking analysis of what the Book of Mormon means and has meant to the latter-day Saints themselves), has brought a mature scholarship and honesty to his scholarly analysis. In his new book on Mormons and their place in American religious history, Givens provides a straightforward account that is refreshingly accurate rather than serving any polemical purpose either pro or con the tenets of the Latter-day Saints. Even the best and most well-intentioned non-Mormon scholars simply have a hard time accurately depicting how the Mormons understand themselves and their history. Givens has given a sober account that sticks to the basics that a novice to Mormon studies would want to know but does not distort in the effort to simplify. It tells you what Mormons believe without telling you that you should either believe or disbelieve those things. Non-Mormon reporters who want to write about the current political controversy over the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney should read this book so they have a more accurate understanding of what Romney actually believes, rather than quoting the wildly inaccurate and pejorative poppycock that is the stock in trade of professional anti-Mormons who sell their junk to the gullible, itching ears of certain Christian and secular audiences, both of whom rebel at the announcement by Mormons that the heavens are open again and God again speaks to mankind. Both groups, for their own reasons, would rather not hear what God thinks of them and their interpretations of the Bible or their rejection of it.

Mormons are pretty ordinary people, and their religious claims are not in substance any more far fetched than the basic claims of Christianity that a man was actually a divine being who suffered for the sins of all mankind and was brought back to life in a resurrected body. In fact, if you accept the New Testament, accepting what Mormons claim Jesus did is certainly not outside the realm of his powers as depicted in holy writ. There are parallels in early Christian, pre-creedal belief for just about every aspect of Mormon belief that has been criticized as outre. This is especially true of the Mormon idea that the ultimate potential for mankind is to become like God in the eternities. That is a teaching that has a Greek name (theosis) because it has been a tenet maintained through 2,000 years by the Orthodox churches, even while the Western churches abandoned that doctrine. Many other books on Mormon belief cannot resist ridiculing it on every page. This book informs the reader without telling you what to think.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best accounts of the Mormon faith 28 Oct 2005
By Benjamin Dower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
So the real question when it comes to any book about the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, is 'how biased is this going to be?" In most books, there are two extremes- either they are written by members of the church, largely for other members or with a missionary purpose, or they are written by people who are strongly against the church, often disaffected former members. Happily, it is my opinion that this book fall under neither category, although it is probably more pro than con. An interesting read, laid out by thematic sections as well as chronological, the book explains basic history, beliefs, and explores controversies both historical and present-day. There are some black and white photographs and a very interesting appendix with a glossary, timeline, and mini-biographies of important church figures. This would be perfect for someone who wants to find out about what it means to be a "Mormon" without worrying about author bias or agenda. A little bit pricey, but definitely a top rate read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent textbook. 8 Dec 2008
By Gerald E. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
An exellent textbook for classes in American Religion.

There is one suggestion in the discusasion about the Fall of Eve. Givens accurately describes one view held by many but there is an alternative. I John 3:4 says "sin is the transgression of the law." Partaking of the fruit was required for becoming mortal but following Satan instead of God was not necessary. Waiting for further instructions from God would have brought the same results but following Satan is not a good precedent.
Breaking one commandment to keep another is also not right nor good unless and until God tells one to. It is a matter of timing- doing the right thing at the wrong time was still wrong and is a common ploy of Satan.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book 20 May 2013
By Lorin G. Ransom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book lives up to my expectations for Givens. He never disappoints. The information in the appendices is quite informative.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Latter-day Saint Experience in America 21 Mar 2009
By T. Clements - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent book. Very well written with a lot of interesting facts regarding the history, teaching, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While it may seem a little expensive at first glance, I found it to be well worth it for the contents of the book. Terryl Givens does a thorough job of explaining the beginnings and rise of the Mormon Church. I find this a solid source as a "go to" for information regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This will prove to be a worthwhile read for both members and non-members wanting to learn more about this growing worldwide Church and an excellent single-volume reference book.
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