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University of Denver offers faculty experts on Mormonism

University of Denver (DU) Professor Carl Raschke says Mormonism is not a cult, according to the academic definition. However, he can explain why it’s so often labeled that by other denominations.

Raschke explains that cults are almost entirely leader-centered; when the leader dies, the ‘cult’ dies. Mormonism is not leader-center.

“Mormonism is by all measures a ‘church’ and an internationally recognized form of Christianity, though both Catholics and Protestants reject it because it adds the Book of Mormon to the Bible,” Raschke says. “It has about the same distance from Protestantism as Shia has from Sunni Islam.”

Raschke explains that the word cult came to be used for any form of zealotry. In the academic study of religion the word means basically a new religious movement that is invented by its founder, prophet, or spiritual leader and centers exclusively around his own inspirations or revelations – without any reference to any other existing religion.  The first part of the definition does, at least historically, make Mormonism a cult (like early Christianity).  But the second part excludes the “cult” definition.

Raschke is available for interviews.  Please call his office at (303) 871-3117.


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