Patrick Q. Mason and John G. Turner. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Softbound, 6×9″, 356 pages.
“To observers who see Mormonism either as a remnant of the frontier American West or a captive of contemporary capitalism, this volume demonstrates the diverse ways in which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has encountered and adapted to a globalized and diverse world. This book stands as the definitive exploration of Mormonism since World War II, charting a course for studies of this dynamic faith well into the twenty-first century.”
—Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis
In the years since 1945, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown rapidly in terms of both numbers and public prominence. Mormonism is no longer merely a homegrown American religion, confined to the Intermountain West; instead, it has captured the attention of political pundits, Broadway audiences, and prospective converts around the world. While most scholarship on Mormonism concerns its colorful but now well-known early history, the essays in this collection assess recent developments, such as the LDS Church’s international growth and acculturation; its intersection with conservative politics in recent decades; its stances on same-sex marriage and the role of women; and its ongoing struggle to interpret its own tumultuous history. The scholars draw on a wide variety of Mormon voices as well as those of outsiders, from Latter-day Saints in Hyderabad, India, to “Mormon Mommy blogs,” to evangelical “countercult” ministries.
Out of Obscurity brings the story of Mormonism since the Second World War into sharp relief, explaining the ways in which a church very much rooted in its nineteenth century prophetic and pioneering past achieved unprecedented influence in the realms of American politics and international business.