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Standing ApartMormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy$
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Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199348138.001.0001

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Narrating Apostasy and the LDS Quest for Identity

Narrating Apostasy and the LDS Quest for Identity

(p.93) 4 Narrating Apostasy and the LDS Quest for Identity
Standing Apart

Miranda Wilcox

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the development of and changes in LDS narratives of the Great Apostasy during the twentieth century and argues that while these narratives helped the LDS church maintain its distinctive identity during two significant institutional transitions, they also fostered a tradition of exclusive historical consciousness and interfaith relations. Using three narratives composed in Judeo-Christian communities during historical periods marked by transition—the Hebrew Bible’s Exodus, Prudentius’s Psychomachia, and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen—as examples, it suggests that revising the social boundaries, cultural relations, and search for origins enacted in LDS historical narratives may contribute to the next phase of the church’s development in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   historical consciousness, narrative, Mormon identity, Great Apostasy, alterity, Psychomachia, Exodus, Faerie Queen

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