Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp: Mormons’ Double Legacy
Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, a professor of American religious history, is the chairman of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the author of the forthcoming "Mormonism: A History."
American society has long held a wary admiration for Mormons. Today Mormons run major corporations, serve in Congress, promote patriotic sentiments, and extol conservative social ideals. They have a world-renowned choir, named by Ronald Reagan as “America’s Choir.” Clean-cut, wholesome and polite, Mormons are archetypes of the American way.
But just as Mormons seem to be ideal Americans, they also provoke typically American fears. While Mormons embody the economic and moral success endorsed by the American Dream, they also subscribe to beliefs that, to many, seem peculiar — even bizarre. Mormon beliefs, understandings of history, and practices such as temple rituals or a legacy of polygamy (which many — despite endless clarifications — mistakenly believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still sanctions), not to mention their preference to keep some practices out of the public eye, all provoke unease and distrust. How can these people, so like many other Americans, be so different?...
comments powered by Disqus
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis