Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism
Recreating Utopia in the Desert: A Sectarian Challenge to Modern Mormonism is the account of a millenarian sect, officially known as the Aaronic Order, one of the main splinter groups of the Mormon Church. Their story tells us much about the social tensions, particularly along class lines, that have emerged in Mormonism.
The Aaronic Order, or Levites, emerged as the Mormon Church evolved from a religious utopia in the Midwest, to a near nation-state in the Intermountain West, to finally an international theocratic corporation. Drawing upon the concept of revitalization movements, the Levite sect is viewed as an attempt by working-class Mormons to resurrect the communitarian ideals they perceived as characteristic of earlier nineteenth-century Mormonism. From their beginnings in the Depression, the Levites have developed a series of cooperative and communal ventures in Utah, based upon the revelations of Maurice Glendenning.
We see in the Levites the seemingly inevitable processes of institutionalization and fission characterizing revitalization movements that survive. By explaining the impetus for the development of sectarian groups such as the Levites, the author offers important insights for the discussion of religious communitarianism and schizmatic movements in contemporary religion.
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The Aaronic Order as a Modern Revitalization Movement
The Levite Conversion Experience
The Levite Community The Search for Gemeinschaft
The Eskdale Commune An Enactment of Levite Ideals
The Development of the Aaronic Order as a Mormon Sect
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Aaronic Order Aaronic priesthood According active American Angel Elias attempted attended became Beeston Book of Elias branch Brigham Young British Israelites charismatic movement Chief High Priest Christian claimed communal ventures communitarian consecrated cooperative Council deprivation Despite Disciple doctrine Dream early Levites economic elderly Levite emerged Eskdale commune Eskdale residents Eskdale's established evangelical followers Fundamentalist Glendenning Glendenning's high school Hutterite ideology individuals Intermountain West Israelites Jesus Christ joined the Aaronic joined the Order Joseph Smith Koyle Laborer LDS larger society Law of Consecration leaders Levite prophet Levite sect Levite woman Levitical Writings living Lofland males membership middle-aged Levites monism Mormon Church Mormon sects O'Dea Partoun percent plural marriage polygynist polygyny priesthood relatively religion religious conversion religious groups revelations revitalization movement Robert Conrad Salt Lake City sample schism schismatic Second Coming Snake Valley social socioeconomic Springville tion United Order Utah various visited young Levites