Abstract and Keywords
While modern Mormonism exerts sway on its members to conform to a narrow range of well-defined perspectives and behaviors, unexpected plurality and dynamism thrive in the ways believers actually practice their religion. The texture and inner realities of Mormon culture can best be grasped by looking at where—and how—Latter-day Saints live their religion: through embodied ritual; in sacred space and time; in densely interlocked social and kinship networks; and in negotiating tensions internal to Mormonism as well as the religion’s adaptation to diverse cultural settings. This chapter probes these four dimensions of Mormon lived religion, recasting the movement’s growing diversity not as fragmentation or declension, but as evidence of its fertility for the human religious imagination. A detailed look at how Mormons live aspects of their religion uncovers hybrid identities, practices, and understandings. The Mormon experience is more richly plural and dynamic than official narratives generally reveal.
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