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Mormon studies is the interdisciplinary academic study of the beliefs, practices, history and culture of those known by the term Mormon and denominations belonging to the Latter Day Saint movement whose members do not generally go by the term "Mormon". The Latter Day Saint movement includes not only The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) but also the Community of Christ (CoC) and other groups, as well as those falling under the umbrella of Fundamentalist Mormonism.
Academic works within Mormon studies don't typically take positions for or against faith claims, although the author's personal standpoint of belief might influence their study. Nonetheless, some scholars' studies of Mormonism are primarily apologetic, either pro- or counter- LDS faith claims.
Since 2012, the principal academic journal of pro-Mormon apologetics has been Interpreter; prior to 2012, it had been FARMS Review under the same editorial leadership. Counter-Mormon apologetics of a particular faith community are generally classed with that communities' apologetics; scholarly criticisms of a more secular nature—at least those not veering into anti-Mormonism—nonetheless are often classed within Mormon studies.
Mormon studies is predominantly historical and a branch of American studies—yet, because of growth trends, more than half of the movement's adherents live outside the U.S., making it a subset of Latin American studies, Pacific studies, Canadian studies, and European studies, as well. In addition to general historians, scholars with expertise in such fields as social anthropology and women's studies contribute or concentrate in Mormon studies as well. Mormon studies academics often present their researches not only at standard academic forums but at more broadly popular gatherings—whether devotional, socially activist, or of some other nature. Likewise, some who are not trained academically in history or another social science, conduct and present Mormon-studies research of note.
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