The Rise of Mormonism

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 2005 - Religion - 173 pages
3 Reviews

Will Mormonism be the next world faith, one that will rival Catholicism, Islam, and other major religions in terms of numbers and global appeal? This was the question Rodney Stark addressed in his much-discussed and much-debated article, "The Rise of a New World Faith" (1984), one of several essays on Mormonism included in this new collection. Examining the religion's growing appeal, Rodney Stark concluded that Mormons could number 267 million members by 2080. In what would become known as "the Stark argument," Stark suggested that the Mormon Church offered contemporary sociologists and historians of religion an opportunity to observe a rare event: the birth of a new world religion.

In the years following that article, Stark has become one of the foremost scholars of Mormonism and the sociology of religion. This new work, the first to collect his influential writings on the Mormon Church, includes previously published essays, revised and rewritten for this volume. His work sheds light on both the growth of Mormonism and on how and why certain religions continue to grow while others fade away.

Stark examines the reasons behind the spread of Mormonism, exploring such factors as cultural continuity with the faiths from which it seeks converts, a volunteer missionary force, and birth rates. He explains why a demanding faith like Mormonism has such broad appeal in today's world and considers the importance of social networks in finding new converts. Stark's work also presents groundbreaking perspectives on larger issues in the study of religion, including the nature of revelation and the reasons for religious growth in an age of modernization and secularization.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmwilliamsjr - LibraryThing

Rise of Mormonism by Rodney Stark nice analysis of the rise of mormonism I like R.Stark, i've read several of his books, they are all very good and extremely insightful. I have a long term interest in ... Read full review

Review: The Rise of Mormonism

User Review  - Swhe641200 - Goodreads

Written by a non-lds but very interesting. Good Read just picked up at library Read full review

Contents

Extracting Social Scientific Models from Mormon History
21
Joseph Smith Among the Revelators
30
Mormon Networks of Faith
57
Rationality and Mormon Sacrifice
83
Modernization Secularization and Mormon Growth
95
The Basis of Mormon Success
114
The Rise of a New World Faith
139
Bibliography
147
Further Acknowledgments
161
Index
163
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Rodney Stark is University Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including For the Glory of God and Exploring the Religious Life.Reid L. Neilson is the author and editor of several books on Mormonism. He is currently a doctoral candidate in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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