Socio-histoire du mormonisme en France (1850-2005) : une étude historique et sociologique de l'implantation de l'Eglise de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours (les Mormons) en France, ainsi qu'en Suisse et Belgique francophones
University in Lille
This study follows the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) in France and in French speaking Switzerland and Belgium. It shows the impact of the evolution of American Mormonism on European Mormonism and the relationships, from center to periphery, of the internationalization process. Four stages appear as operative. 1 : The Emigration, throughout the 19th century, or the gathering of Mormon converts in Utah, their "Zion". 2 : In a quest for integration in the American Society (abolition of polygamy, end of political, economical and judicial power of the LDS church), a renewed commitment to the mission of international Predication. 3 : With the expansion of prozelytising, comes the structural changes implied by an international Establishment. Finally, 4 : The desire and the difficulties of obtaining their integration within the hosting society.
A survey has also been conducted among active Mormon adults in France in 2007. This community appears to be sociologically close to the Franch population (socioprofessional categories, level of education, multiculturalism, etc.). Only differences in values and living principles have appeared withe the questions of conversion and retention. Other themes go through our study, such as the State-Church relations (is Mormonism a "sect"?), the image of Mormonism in the Medias, the relationship between the American culture of the institution in the US and the French culture of the converts, the relationships between the French Mormons and their fellow citizens. These transversal perspectives reveal the many dilemmas the French Mormons must face at the crossroad of several cultures.