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Latter-day saints and the problem of theology

Cannell, Fenella (2018) Latter-day saints and the problem of theology. In: Lemons, J. Derrick, (ed.) Theologically Engaged Anthropology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780198797852

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oso/9780198797852.003.0015


This chapter reveals that contemporary American Latter-Day Saints lead lives shaped by a conscious, often partially conflicted, relationship to the authoritative teachings of their church hierarchy. This doctrine represents the power of present-day revelation channeled through the current Prophet; however, many Latter-Day Saints believe that prophets may also make human mistakes. For an important minority, including some feminist intellectuals, these tensions have been experienced as an attempt to prohibit the development of theology. The problematic status of Mormon theology may be one reason why many church members seek to reconcile doctrine with personal experience by means of narrative and autobiography, producing a culture of Mormon stories. This chapter considers how some Mormon feminist excommunicates attempted to project religious authenticity against the grain of the institution. Mormon ethnography thus provides an instance of the anthropological approach to theology as a lived category, including the contestation of the space for theology itself.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2017 14:20
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2021 00:04

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