This daily feature is an introduction to a full book review by Stephen Cranney. To read the full text of this review, follow the link below.
The Next Mormons is a mixed-methods work (that is, it includes both representative statistics as well as interviews) on the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of millennial members of The Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States. Written by well-known religious journalist Jana Riess, with assistance from Benjamin Knoll, a political science academic, the book is built around the results of their Next Mormons Survey. On the whole, the book is an enjoyable read, reflecting Reiss’s skill as a journalist. The book was clearly written to be accessible, with little reference to major theories in the field of sociology or religion. In a time when Latter-day Saint studies is being covered in a myriad of fields and new Church history books are being published by the dozens every year, the social science of the subject—which is arguably more relevant to the day-to-day lived experience of Latter-day Saints than the history—has remained surprisingly fallow in comparison. Here Riess has taken a large and substantive step into this field.