Salvation and Solvency

Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte

Book 133
Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
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This monograph tracks the development of the socio-economic stance of early Mormonism, an American Millenarian Restorationist movement, through the first fourteen years of the church’s existence, from its incorporation in the spring of 1830 in New York, through Ohio and Missouri and Illinois, up to the lynching of its prophet Joseph Smith Jr in the summer of 1844. Mormonism used a new revelation, the Book of Mormon, and a new apostolically inspired church organization to connect American antiquities to covenant-theological salvation history. The innovative religious strategy was coupled with a conservative socio-economic stance that was supportive of technological innovation.
This analysis of the early Mormon church uses case studies focused on socio-economic problems, such as wealth distribution, the financing of publication projects, land trade and banking, and caring for the poor. In order to correct for the agentive overtones of standard Mormon historiography, both in its supportive and in its detractive stance, the explanatory models of social time from Fernand Braudel’s classic work on the Mediterranean are transferred to and applied in the nineteenth-century American context.
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About the author

Robert Christian Kahlert, Korneuburg, Austria.
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Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
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Published on
May 24, 2016
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Religion / Christianity / Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Religion / Christianity / General
Religion / Christianity / History
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The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse at her own peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.

Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.
This book examines the life and work of the Reverend John Callender (1706-1748) within the context of the emergence of religious toleration in New England in the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a relatively recent endeavor in light of the well-worn theme of persecution in colonial American religious history.

New England Puritanism was the culmination of different shades of transatlantic puritan piety, and it was the Puritan’s pious adherence to the Covenant model that compelled them to punish dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists. Eventually, a number of factors contributed to the decline of persecution, and the subsequent emergence of toleration. For the Baptists, toleration was first realized in 1718, when Elisha Callender was ordained pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston by Congregationalist Cotton Mather.

John Callender, Elisha Callender’s nephew, benefited from Puritan and Baptist influences, and his life and work serves as one example of the nascent religious understanding between Baptists and Congregationalists during this specific period. Callender’s efforts are demonstrated through his pastoral ministry in Rhode Island and other parts of New England, through his relationships with notable Congregationalists, and through his writings. Callender’s publications contributed to the history of the colony of Rhode Island, and provided source material for the work of notable Baptist historian, Isaac Backus, in his own struggle for religious liberty a generation later.

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