Mystics against the market: American religions and the autocritique of capitalism

Lars Rodseth, Jennifer Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article asks what might be learned about Western cosmology by focusing on religious traditions that originated in the United States and have developed outside the mainstream of Christianity. Mormonism and other American religions, we argue, carry a hidden repertoire of mystical and communal themes that directly conflict with the Western 'market mentality' as often described in the anthropological literature. These religions, furthermore, have surprising affinities with mystical and communal traditions outside the West, affinities that are fully revealed, ironically enough, only in the context of American cultural expansion in the non-Western world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Capitalism
  • Communalism
  • Cosmology
  • Frontier
  • Mormonism
  • Mysticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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