Religion and Public Life in the Mountain West : Sacred Landscapes in Transition
Walnut Creek, Calif.
'While Flake's account of religion in Utah and Idaho makes the obvious case that these states are the heart of Mormon country, she does not simply provide a standard account of Mormon history and Mormon domination of the culture. Instead, she explores the implications for a people and the culture they fashion when a persecuted minority group becomes the majority in a land where European-American culture had never before flourished. Drawing on her own deep understanding of Mormonism and Mormon culture, as well as her familiarity with the Mormon faith, its theology, and its worship practices, she puts contemporary public issues in context, making it possible to comprehend just how 'a church with the soul of a nation' manages to function with reasonable success in a 'nation with the soul of a church.' In a concluding section that reveals how very shallow the claim of growing diversity truly is, Flake argues that the combination of a unique theology and a persistent cultural memory of persecution that modern Mormons hand down to the next generation of birthright Saints and across to the next generation of Latter-day Saint converts almost guarantees that tension between the Saints and other religious groups is likely to persevere far into the future.' (taken from the book's introduction by Jan Shipps)