From Lingering Longer to Bowling Alone: Tracking the Changes in Community and Social Capital Related to Faith Transitions

The LDS Church has historically been a social hub for many of its members, and as one’s orthodoxy wanes, often so too does one’s sense of community and belonging. This presentation will examine Robert Putnam’s research on the interplay between social capital, community, and religion in the Mormon context, and will tackle the following questions: What happens when a faith transition causes one to lose social capital? How can those who leave rebuild a new community? What can the institutional Church do to keep unorthodox member engaged? How does one’s social capital and sense of community affect one’s mental health?

Kelly Furr, Mark Petersen