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Prophecy Channels and Prophetic Modalities: A Comparison of Revelation in The Family International and the LDS Church

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The underlying assumption of this article is that prophetic statements composed for publication in religious organizations as the word of God are, in some form and to some degree, socially constructed. We expand on this assumption by comparing and contrasting The Family International and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—both of which are organized around belief in ongoing prophecy and revelation. Derived from our comparative analysis of these two religious groups, we formulate a prophecy typology that specifies (1) the channels through which revelations are proclaimed (a designated individual or group of collaborators) and (2) the modality of prophetic statements attributed to a divine source (inspirational or oracular). Based on this typology we conclude by proposing a set of hypotheses for guiding further studies in the social construction of prophecy.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology University of Central Arkansas

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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