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The Rise of Mormonism by Rodney Stark
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The Rise of Mormonism

by Rodney Stark

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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 Mormonism and when i saw his name on this book i grabbed it off the shelves. He is an excellent writer and a careful and somewhat iconoclastic thinker. The book comes out of a debate that he sparked with a paper on the growth curve of Mormonism. It is a collection of essays, more than a "written from scratch, from the beginning to the end" book, and shows some of the weaknesses of being a compilation, but it is not a serious failing.

There are a few take home ideas:
conversion is a social capital event, tied closely to family and social groups.
Mormonism is growing rapidly and there are good reasons for it.
Mormonism is recent enough to have good history to study about it's rise and theology.
People are rational and calculating in their religious thinking, you just have to find the right equations.

Just read the introduction if you are looking to assess reading it. It is sympathetic to Mormons as a social and cultural phenomena, it is generally interested in religion from a secular and scientific viewpoint. It is an insightful and interesting book,was well worth the time to read and think about. It again confirms my idea that i ought to read by authors, just working through their body of work to deeply understand what they are doing. Stark is certainly worth such a concentrated effort. ( )
1 vote rmwilliamsjr | May 31, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 023113634X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

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.… (more)

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