Mormonism in Europe : Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest institutional expression of Mormonism, a religion born in the United States through Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805–1844). Present in Europe since 1837, it entered through Great Britain and later extended its work to the continental and Scandinavian nations. The new religion first called for believers to emigrate to America and to participate in building a Zion there, with tens of thousands of Europeans making the journey. Eventually this push to emigrate was replaced by the aim of building a stable church organization – a local Zion – in each European country. Today, the 500,000 Latter-day Saints on the books in Europe are part of a global religion, one that seeks to balance its American roots and center in Utah with the needs of adherents worldwide. What did Mormonism’s early arrival in different countries entail? What was personal conversion like and what was emigration’s role in it? Which non-Utah expressions of Mormonism have made a mark on the European scene? What is Mormonism’s place in modern European countries, and how does it fit with their native cultures? How does that fit affect its prospects for future success? This volume showcases the Old Continent’s cultures encountering a religion from the New World, as interpreted by recognized experts in Mormon Studies.