Download People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl L. Givens PDF

By Terryl L. Givens

In People of Paradox, Terryl Givens lines the increase and improvement of Mormon tradition from the times of Joseph Smith in upstate manhattan, via Brigham Young's founding of the Territory of Deseret at the shorelines of serious Salt Lake, to the unfold of the Latter-Day Saints world wide.
through the final century and a part, Givens notes, distinct traditions have emerged one of the Latter-Day Saints, formed via dynamic tensions--or paradoxes--that supply Mormon cultural expression a lot of its energy. here's a faith formed through a inflexible authoritarian hierarchy and radical individualism; by means of prophetic simple task and a party of studying and highbrow research; by means of lifestyles in exile and a longing for integration and recognition through the bigger international. Givens divides Mormon background into sessions, separated by way of the renunciation of polygamy in 1890. In every one, he explores the lifetime of the brain, the emphasis on schooling, the significance of structure and concrete making plans (so obvious in Salt Lake urban and Mormon temples round the world), and Mormon accomplishments in tune and dance, theater, movie, literature, and the visible arts. He situates such cultural practices within the context of the society of the bigger state and, in additional fresh years, the realm. this present day, he observes, in basic terms fourteen percentage of Mormon believers reside within the usa.
Mormonism hasn't ever been extra well known in public existence. yet there's a wealthy internal lifestyles underneath the general public floor, one deftly captured during this sympathetic, nuanced account by means of a number one authority on Mormon background and concept.

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People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture

In humans of Paradox, Terryl Givens strains the increase and improvement of Mormon tradition from the times of Joseph Smith in upstate manhattan, via Brigham Young's founding of the Territory of Deseret at the seashores of significant Salt Lake, to the unfold of the Latter-Day Saints around the world.
in the course of the final century and a part, Givens notes, targeted traditions have emerged one of the Latter-Day Saints, formed by means of dynamic tensions--or paradoxes--that provide Mormon cultural expression a lot of its power. here's a faith formed through a inflexible authoritarian hierarchy and radical individualism; through prophetic simple task and a party of studying and highbrow research; via lifestyles in exile and a longing for integration and recognition by means of the bigger global. Givens divides Mormon background into classes, separated by means of the renunciation of polygamy in 1890. In every one, he explores the lifetime of the brain, the emphasis on schooling, the significance of structure and concrete making plans (so obvious in Salt Lake urban and Mormon temples round the world), and Mormon accomplishments in tune and dance, theater, movie, literature, and the visible arts. He situates such cultural practices within the context of the society of the bigger country and, in additional contemporary years, the area. at the present time, he observes, in simple terms fourteen percentage of Mormon believers stay within the usa.
Mormonism hasn't ever been extra favorite in public lifestyles. yet there's a wealthy internal existence underneath the general public floor, one deftly captured during this sympathetic, nuanced account via a number one authority on Mormon background and concept.

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Joseph’s crowned Saints are no angelic choirs passively basking in the glory of their God, but Faustian strivers endlessly seeking to shape themselves into progressively better beings, fashioning worlds and creating endless posterity, eternally working to impose order and form on an infinitely malleable cosmos. ’’29 ‘‘When you climb up a ladder,’’ Joseph explained: you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation.

3 In his own case, Joseph never admitted a particle of possible self-deception. ’’4 Such certainty, he believed, may be temporally late in coming, but is logically the starting point of true religion. ’’5 It is easy to see why his personal encounter with a conversing Deity would ground his own sense of epistemological certainty. But he clearly saw his own experience as a prototype to which others could—and should—aspire. An chapter 2 the endless quest and perfect knowledge v 23 1833 revelation had the Lord declaring that ‘‘every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face, and know that I am’’ (D&C 93:1).

But Mormon culture today—at least its public face—persists stubbornly in its personal and public expressions of religious certainty, even as its members pursue an educational agenda with an anticipated span of eons. Like the contest between authoritarianism and independence, the uneasy coexistence of certainty and searching spurs vigorous debates in the Mormon intellectual community and provides fodder for artists who both explore and depict the cultural tensions that result. Doubtless, the certainty side of the paradox presents both intellectual and artistic culture with special challenges.

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