Saturday, November 3, 2012

The American Religion

The New Republic's Jackson Lears "explain[s] how the Mormon Ethic came to integrate so smoothly with the twentieth-century Spirit of Capitalism, even more smoothly than the Protestant Ethic had done" — The Mormon Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. An excerpt:
    The Mormon God is anything but an absolute, transcendent Other. He is flesh and blood as well as eternal spirit, and his creative powers are not what Christians might have thought. He did not make something from nothing. Matter pre-exists God: what is traditionally called creation was actually the organization of matter.... Much of this theology resonates with commonsense American sensibilities—the priority of matter, the organizer God, the celebration of doing over being, the faith in progress, the prospect of perpetual personal growth.

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