Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp: Mormons’ Double LegacyRoundup: Historians' Take
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
- Black Delegates at GOP Convention at Lowest Level in History
- Richard Moe calls on Obama to make Utah's Bears Ears a national monument. Bears Ears?
- What History Says About Donald Trump’s Convention Speech
- Rep. Steve King doubles down on white supremacy claim
- Does Melania Trump know what plagiarism is?
- Daniel Pipes: “Why I Just Quit the Republican Party"
- Jill Lepore attended the GOP convention
- Ramsay Cook died in Toronto on July 14, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer
- Adam Hochschild says he met the ghosts of his own work at a recent visit to the multiplex
- Colleges are implored to teach their own history