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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 hundreds of thousands of converts yet way more critics. In "A atypical People", J. Spencer Fluhman bargains a accomplished background of anti-Mormon idea and the linked passionate debates approximately spiritual authenticity in nineteenth-century the USA. He argues that figuring out anti-Mormonism offers serious perception into the yank psyche simply because Mormonism turned a powerful image round which rules approximately faith and the nation took form.
Fluhman records how Mormonism was once defamed, with assaults frequently geared toward polygamy, and indicates 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 changes, 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 way in which for the dramatic, but nonetheless grudging, recognition of Mormonism as an American religion.

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

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Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo) droves decried Mormonism as a fake religion but found themselves faking tolerance in the process. In worrying about the country’s future, observers looked back for examples of the trouble that might infect societies that forsook true religion. Viewing Christianity’s rivals as counterfeits of real religion, anti-Mormons set about “exposing,” “unveiling,” or “unmasking” Mormonism in ways that portrayed it as both new and old. ”2 As a result of this dependence on distinctively Protestant versions of history, a major strain of early anti-Mormon 22 “Impostor” Eber D.

In a religiously disestablished United States, the new free market in churches entailed unintended and unwanted consequences. Authenticity and Disestablishment Early Americans’ preoccupation with deception is easily detected but not as easily explained. Add complicated and unprecedented religious circumstances to the formidable political, social, and economic upheavals that marked early national culture and the anxiety or befuddlement become comprehensible. 5 Revolution had doomed churches to varying degrees of upheaval and often-significant declines in membership.

Since writers rarely formally distinguished the two, religion often emerged paradoxically in the narratives. This is no surprise given the notion’s tangled roots. The imposture thesis, after all, had been wielded by Enlightenment skeptics against religion generally and by Protestant polemicists against Catholicism. 20 Attuned to imposture’s menace, anti-Mormons did not detect a blatantly false message at first. Smith initially seemed close enough to the Protestant theologies of his day, and many of the early movement’s teachings seemed conventional.

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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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