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Journal of the American Academy of Religion,


Reporting on responses from a survey of disaffected Mormons who utilize internet resources to manage feelings of distance from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this article explores the production of religious ambivalence online, arguing that ambivalence is not a default position for those too passive or afraid to leave, nor is it a failure of decisiveness or commitment. Rather, it is a produced religious mode that depends on robust socialization mechanisms to result in a strong sense of personal and collective identity. The online context enables, and indeed requires, an operationalization of religious ambivalence as both a socialization mechanism and a socialization outcome. Site users participate in a process of affective encapsulation, which both echoes and reshapes familiar Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tropes and practices and allows them to fashion a new understanding of Mormon identity with uncertainty at its center.