The Mormon Question

Author: Sarah Barringer Gordon
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807875260
Format: PDF, Kindle
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From the Mormon Church's public announcement of its sanction of polygamy in 1852 until its formal decision to abandon the practice in 1890, people on both sides of the "Mormon question" debated central questions of constitutional law. Did principles of religious freedom and local self-government protect Mormons' claim to a distinct, religiously based legal order? Or was polygamy, as its opponents claimed, a new form of slavery--this time for white women in Utah? And did constitutional principles dictate that democracy and true liberty were founded on separation of church and state? As Sarah Barringer Gordon shows, the answers to these questions finally yielded an apparent victory for antipolygamists in the late nineteenth century, but only after decades of argument, litigation, and open conflict. Victory came at a price; as attention and national resources poured into Utah in the late 1870s and 1880s, antipolygamists turned more and more to coercion and punishment in the name of freedom. They also left a legacy in constitutional law and political theory that still governs our treatment of religious life: Americans are free to believe, but they may well not be free to act on their beliefs.

The Mormon Question

Author: Sarah Barringer Gordon
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807849873
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
From the Mormon Church's public announcement of its sanction of polygamy in 1852 until its formal decision to abandon the practice in 1890, people on both sides of the "Mormon question" debated central questions of constitutional law. Did principles of re

The Mormon question

Author: Sarah Barringer Gordon
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
From the Mormon Church's public announcement of its sanction of polygamy in 1852 until its formal decision to abandon the practice in 1890, people on both sides of the "Mormon question" debated central questions of constitutional law. Did principles of religious freedom and local self-government protect Mormons' claim to a distinct, religiously based legal order? Or was polygamy, as its opponents claimed, a new form of slavery--this time for white women in Utah? And did constitutional principles dictate that democracy and true liberty were founded on separation of church and state?As Sarah Barringer Gordon shows, the answers to these questions finally yielded an apparent victory for antipolygamists in the late nineteenth century, but only after decades of argument, litigation, and open conflict. Victory came at a price; as attention and national resources poured into Utah in the late 1870s and 1880s, antipolygamists turned more and more to coercion and punishment in the name of freedom. They also left a legacy in constitutional law and political theory that still governs our treatment of religious life: Americans are free to believe, but they may well not be free to act on their beliefs.

More Wives Than One

Author: Kathryn M. Daynes
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252026812
Format: PDF, Kindle
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When Joseph Smith announced his revelation that plural marriage was essential to attaining the highest level of eternal salvation, he introduced what became the most notorious aspect of Mormon culture. More Wives Than One offers the first in-depth look at the long-term interaction between belief and the practice of polygamy, or plural marriage, among the Latter-day Saints. Focusing on the small community of Manti, Utah, Kathryn M. Daynes shows that plural marriage encompassed several forms of marriage endorsed by the church, each with its own rights and responsibilities. She gives a clear picture of the factors shaping the practice, who was likely to enter into a plural marriage, and how the practice dovetailed with Mormon convictions about the crucial role of families in solving social problems. She also explicates the web of beliefs about God-centered marriages and familial responsibility that underlay how plural marriage was experienced. During the frontier period, territorial laws in Utah allowed the Saints sufficient autonomy to develop their distinctive marriage patterns. As settlement progressed, however, the federal government -- prodded by late nineteenth-century family reformers -- took an increasingly aggressive role in squelching anomalous practices of both marriage and divorce, eroding the ability of plural wives and children to inherit and ultimately disfranchising women and polygamists. Cogent and impeccably documented, More Wives Than One will enlighten both scholars and general readers on an intriguing and much-misunderstood chapter of Mormon history.

The Viper on the Hearth

Author: Terryl L. Givens
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199933804
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In 1997, Terryl Givens's The Viper on the Hearth was praised as a new classic in Mormon studies. In the wake of Mormon-inspired and -created artistic, literary, and political activity - today's "Mormon moment" - Givens presents a revised and updated edition of his book to address the continuing presence and reception of the Mormon image in contemporary culture. "The Viper on the Hearth by Terryl L. Givens is a remarkably lucid and useful study of the patterns of American prejudices against the Mormon people. It provides also a valuable paradigm for the study of all religious 'heresy'." - Harold Bloom "A well-researched and insightful book...He illuminates the phenomena of religious heresy and persecution generally. The book is thoroughly documented, and Givens writes with a graceful style. This is an excellent example of both historical and literary scholarship." - American Historical Review "Contains provocative insights into American culture, LDS identity, nineteenth-century literature, rhetorics of oppression, and religious formation. The narrative is short, subtle, and crisp; Givens rarely wastes a sentence. A work to be read with patience and care. I highly recommend this book." - Religious Studies Review "The book is sophisticated, long on analysis...He has read widely in the vast secondary literature...and produced a study worthy of its prestigious publisher." - Church History "Widely researched, theoretically informed, and gracefully written, this work is a model of significant interdisciplinary study." - Western American Literature "It could influence American religion studies the same way Bauer's Orthodoxy and Heresy challenged and changed perceptions. Intelligently conceived,...skillful textual analysis,...exemplary scholarship...It illuminates dilemmas and paradoxes central to American religion and culture generally. The prose, illustrations, and overall construction of the book are aesthetically pleasing. The exemplary scholarship significantly enriches Mormon historiography....Few books succeed, as this one does, in stimulating thought far beyond their own scope." - Journal of Mormon History "A subtlety and sophistication that will delight and enlighten readers. The most detailed and sophisticated study to date of patterns of representation in 19th c anti-Mormonism." - BYU Studies "A powerful and compelling thesis...[an] ingenious reading... Chapter five should become a classic in Mormon Studies. For a great reading experience in thoughtful and independently conceived religious and cultural thinking rare in Mormon studies, turn to this addition in the excellent 'Religion in America Series,' published by Oxford University Press." - Journal of American Ethnic History "Well-researched and illuminating study...Gives us a fresh understanding of the process of myth-making...Locates it arguments in a carefully constructed historical context." - Journal of the Early Republic "In this fascinating study, he examines how Mormons have been constructed as the great and abominable 'other.' Interestingly, although the religion was once scorned for its 'weirdness,' it is now because Mormons occupy what used to be the center that they fall into contempt." - Utah Historical Quarterly "A wonderfully thought-through look at the interrelationships between fiction, religion, and the culture of humor/hostility....It represents a significant contribution to our understanding of literary relations." - Larry H. Peer, Brigham Young University "This is the first full explanation of why Mormons have been demonized by a nation that prides itself on open toleration of all faiths. Givens carefully appraises every past explanation for the printed attacks and physical persecutions that occurred from the 1830s onward, as newspapers, novels, and satires convinced a 'tolerant' public that Mormons should not be tolerated. He then makes a convincing argument that the primary affront the Mormons offered was theological: their anthropomorphic picture of God and of his continuing personal revelations to the one true church. The book is thus an impressive achievement that should interest not just Mormons or other religious believers but anyone who cares about how 'freedom-loving,' 'tolerant' Americans turned 'heretics' into subhuman monsters deserving destruction." - Wayne Booth, University of Chicago (Emeritus)

The Spirit of the Law

Author: Sarah Barringer Gordon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674046542
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A new constitutional world burst into American life in the mid-twentieth century. For the first time, the national constitution's religion clauses were extended by the United States Supreme Court to all state and local governments. As energized religious individuals and groups probed the new boundaries between religion and government and claimed their sacred rights in court, a complex and evolving landscape of religion and law emerged. Sarah Gordon tells the stories of passionate believers who turned to the law and the courts to facilitate a dazzling diversity of spiritual practice. Legal decisions revealed the exquisite difficulty of gauging where religion ends and government begins. Controversies over school prayer, public funding, religion in prison, same-sex marriage, and secular rituals roiled long-standing assumptions about religion in public life. The range and depth of such conflicts were remarkableâe"and ubiquitous. Telling the story from the ground up, Gordon recovers religious practices and traditions that have generated compelling claims while transforming the law of religion. From isolated schoolchildren to outraged housewives and defiant prisoners, believers invoked legal protection while courts struggled to produce stable constitutional standards. In a field dominated by controversy, the vital connection between popular and legal constitutional understandings has sometimes been obscured. The Spirit of the Law explores this tumultuous constitutional world, demonstrating how religion and law have often seemed irreconcilable, even as they became deeply entwined in modern America.

The Mormon Menace

Author: Patrick Mason
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199792870
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"It incarnates every unclean beast of lust, guile, falsehood, murder, despotism and spiritual wickedness." So wrote a prominent Southern Baptist official in 1899 of Mormonism. Rather than the "quintessential American religion," as it has been dubbed by contemporary scholars, in the late nineteenth century Mormonism was America's most vilified homegrown faith. A vast national campaign featuring politicians, church leaders, social reformers, the press, women's organizations, businessmen, and ordinary citizens sought to end the distinctive Latter-day Saint practice of plural marriage, and to extinguish the entire religion if need be. Placing the movement against polygamy in the context of American and southern history, Mason demonstrates that anti-Mormonism was one of the earliest vehicles for reconciliation between North and South after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Southerners joined with northern reformers and Republicans to endorse the use of newly expanded federal power to vanquish the perceived threat to Christian marriage and the American republic. Anti-Mormonism was a significant intellectual, legal, religious, and cultural phenomenon, but in the South it was also violent. While southerners were concerned about distinctive Mormon beliefs and political practices, they were most alarmed at the "invasion" of Mormon missionaries in their communities and the prospect of their wives and daughters falling prey to polygamy. Moving to defend their homes and their honor against this threat, southerners turned to legislation, to religion, and, most dramatically, to vigilante violence. The Mormon Menace provides new insights into some of the most important discussions of the late nineteenth century and of our own age, including debates over the nature and limits of religious freedom; the contest between the will of the people and the rule of law; and the role of citizens, churches, and the state in regulating and defining marriage.

Zion in the Courts

Author: Edwin Brown Firmage
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252069802
Format: PDF
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Winner of an Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award The inability of American society to tolerate the peculiar institutions embraced by Mormons was one of the major events in the religious history of nineteenth-century America. Zion in the Courts explores one aspect of this collision between the Mormons and the mainstream: the Mormons' efforts to establish their own court system--one appropriate to the distinctive political, social, and economic practices they envisioned as Zion--and the pressures applied by the federal legal system to bring them to heel.This first paperback edition includes two new introductory pieces in which the authors discuss the Mormon emphasis on settling disputes outside the court, a practice that foreshadows current trends toward arbitration and mediation.

Separating Church and State

Author: Timothy Hall
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252066641
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island, is famous as an apostle of religious tolerance and a foe of religious establishments. In Separating Church and State, Timothy Hall combines impressive historical and legal scholarship to explore Williams's theory of religious liberty and relate it to current debate. Williams's fierce religious dogmatism, Hall argues, is precisely what led to his religious tolerance, making him one of the most articulate champions in history of the argument for the necessary separation of church and state.