Abstract and Keywords
Throughout their tumultuous history, Mormons have sporadically invoked a flexible practice of property donation—or “consecration”—to provide for community needs, to insulate themselves economically from the host society, and to assimilate into that society. This chapter traces Mormon communitarianism across LDS history, from its radical beginnings amidst the ferment of pre–Civil War religious awakenings to its reformulation during the Cold War era, when Mormons largely integrated within the ranks of American political and economic conservatives. Over that span, Mormons were inspired by, fought over, depended upon, ignored, revived, and almost forgot their distinctive communitarian principles. Moreover, the living of the Mormon communitarian vision has been complicated by internal divisions (often involving the communitarian specifics themselves), changing relations with the American nation state, and economic transformations within and outside the church.
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