Get "A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of PDF

By J. Spencer Fluhman

ISBN-10: 0807835714

ISBN-13: 9780807835715

Even though 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 ordinary People", J. Spencer Fluhman bargains a finished background of anti-Mormon inspiration and the linked passionate debates approximately spiritual authenticity in nineteenth-century the United States. He argues that knowing anti-Mormonism presents severe perception into the yankee psyche simply because Mormonism grew to become a powerful image round which principles approximately faith and the kingdom took form.
Fluhman records how Mormonism was once defamed, with assaults usually geared toward polygamy, and indicates how the hot religion provided a social enemy for a public agitated via the preferred press and wracked with social and monetary 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 recognition of Utah into the Union in 1896 and in addition paving the best way for the dramatic, but nonetheless grudging, reputation 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

Sample text

For the purposes of this text, “anti-Mormon” remains an admittedly amorphous and generalized term, catching practically any negative appraisal of Joseph Smith’s (then Brigham Young’s) movement in its conceptual web. The time for richer comparative work with anti-Catholicism, anti-Shakerism, or anti-Spiritualism never materialized, either. There are glancing nods to other polemical genres, but my most pressing questions kept me focused squarely on the complexities of antiMormon rhetoric. For the most part, I chose to lightly treat specific Mormon countercharges or the fascinating rounds of interreligious sparring.

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.

75 Others claimed that Smith had merely pilfered the text, a grudging admission that some aspects of the work seemed beyond Smith as they understood him. 76 Various explanations creatively straddled the two claims, but, whatever their position, anti-Mormon writers found Smith culpable for deception and for borrowing material from other sources, whether from his own culture, the Bible, or another author. ” Palmyra, New York, editor Abner Cole was sure Smith borrowed the idea of a book treating Native American origins from a “vagabond fortune-teller,” but the allegation hardly resolved the problem of the text itself.

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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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