By J. Spencer Fluhman

ISBN-10: 0807835714

ISBN-13: 9780807835715

Although 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 deals a complete background of anti-Mormon concept and the linked passionate debates approximately non secular authenticity in nineteenth-century the USA. He argues that knowing anti-Mormonism offers severe perception into the yankee psyche simply because Mormonism turned a powerful image round which rules approximately faith and the kingdom took form.
Fluhman records how Mormonism used to be defamed, with assaults usually aimed toward polygamy, and exhibits how the hot religion provided a social enemy for a public agitated by means of the preferred press and wracked with social and financial 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 popularity of Utah into the Union in 1896 and likewise paving the way in which for the dramatic, but nonetheless grudging, recognition of Mormonism as an American religion.

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

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In E. D. Howe’s account, folk magic provided a training ground where Smith could hone skills of deception. 106 Like the magician’s audience, anti-Mormons could be assured Smith’s prophethood was a hoax but at the same time remain uneasy because much was obscured from view. The magic charges, then, both exposed the prophet and added to the sense of alarm. Ezra Booth, a Methodist preacher and eventual Mormon defector, described the magic allegations’ twin functions memorably. He explained that the “magic charm of delusion” had “so wrapped its sable mantle around me, as to .

E. G. ” Similarities between the two prophets’ careers prompted Illinois college professor Jonathan B. Turner to formulate a typology of false 30 “Impostor” prophethood, with similarities ranging from dogmatic certainty to a tendency toward scriptural literalism. ”42 As testimony to both Matthias’s notoriety and the lack of debate about either prophet’s legitimacy, most writers comparing the two New York seers did little more than mention Matthias’s name. Christian Palladium editor Joseph Badger could only bemoan the fact that both men had progressed as far as they had by 1834.

But only two pages later Buck turned defensive. “Perhaps it may be said, the Work is tinctured too much with my own sentiments,” he predicted. ”13 With American churches competing for members and influence among themselves and, at least in the abstract, with non-Christian religious traditions, other writers were forced to admit the same. Their task was not simply to describe different faiths objectively, but to compare, to weigh, and to assign value. They intended to “educate” in the Protestant sense of the term.

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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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