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"A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of by J. Spencer Fluhman PDF

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By J. Spencer Fluhman

ISBN-10: 0807835714

ISBN-13: 9780807835715

Notwithstanding the U.S. structure promises the unfastened workout of faith, it doesn't specify what counts as a faith. From its founding within the 1830s, Mormonism, a homegrown American religion, drew millions of converts yet way more critics. In "A bizarre People", J. Spencer Fluhman bargains a entire background of anti-Mormon idea and the linked passionate debates approximately non secular authenticity in nineteenth-century the United States. He argues that figuring out anti-Mormonism offers severe perception into the yankee psyche simply because Mormonism grew to become a powerful image round which rules approximately faith and the country took form.
Fluhman files how Mormonism used to be defamed, with assaults frequently aimed toward polygamy, and exhibits how the recent religion provided a social enemy for a public agitated via the preferred press and wracked with social and fiscal instability. Taking the tale to the flip of the century, Fluhman demonstrates how Mormonism's personal differences, the results of either selection and out of doors strength, sapped the energy of the worst anti-Mormon vitriol, triggering the attractiveness of Utah into the Union in 1896 and in addition paving the best way for the dramatic, but nonetheless grudging, popularity of Mormonism as an American religion.

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Additional resources for "A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America

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Anti-Mormons dismissed the charge of religious persecution because they typically did not consider Mormonism a religion. At the same time, they found themselves participating in a more extended conversation about religious authenticity, the nature of religious authority, and the place of religion in the republic. 4 They each betrayed the admission that religious claims were complicated and that, if left to themselves, people might just choose amiss. In a religiously disestablished United States, the new free market in churches entailed unintended and unwanted consequences.

With the “fanaticism of the Mormons in the West . . ”43 The Palladium’s masthead banner— “Religion Without Bigotry—Zeal Without Fanaticism—Liberty Without Licentiousness”—not only encapsulated Badger’s vision for the republic but also hinted at the paradoxical nature of its application in an antebellum context. As the prophets’ religious visions transgressed theological, social, political, and sexual convention, most concluded that religious liberty was a glaring American problem. Whereas Matthias’s abrupt exit from public gaze presented commentators with a relatively easy example of fraud, Islam’s prophet provided a different but increasingly useful simile.

66 Finally, Mormonism’s early history demanded that writers reckon with an admittedly successful Joseph Smith. The first two dilemmas—the nature of Smith’s charlatanry and the origins of the Book of Mormon—were inherently linked. ”69 Indeed, some critics saw no pressing need to read it. ’ ”70 The Book of Mormon not only struck many as a counterfeit Bible, it drew the Smith-Muhammad comparisons in the first place. James G. Bennett, one of the young nation’s journalistic giants, had connected false prophet and false scripture on an 1831 tour of upstate New York.

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"A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America by J. Spencer Fluhman


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