American religion from the margin to mainstream

2 fast-growing religions were made in America: Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses. They may well still be on that growth-spurt, not just in the United States, but around the world. Both are adapted from Christianity and yet have diverged in ways that many call unorthodox or heretical. Most obviously, both make very significant additions and/or changes to the Bible that 40,000 other Christian sects & denominations around the world uphold as Gospel. Both exhibit qualities of conservative values and extremely high morals and American salesmanship. one might say they’re the ultimate of religious franchising.

And now they’re mainstreaming.

The “Book of Mormon” is a runaway hit on Broadway. Yes, a musical comedy in downtown New York City, sold out for months, with tickets running as high as $900. On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 3 videos on CBS News: The irreverent “Book of Mormon” + Creating the runaway hit “Book of Mormon” + “Book of Mormon” cast and company. Broadway Buzz rolls out a month of Mormon video series every day since mid-May.

And on the Jehovah’s Witness side of things is KNOCKING, a documentary movie is making its rounds, featured as an indy film on PBS back in 2007 (cf. NPR).


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