This book provides a comprehensive explanation of how the Mormons have transformed from a hated and persecuted fringe group to a well-established world religion with viable candidates for all levels of American government.
The revelations of a poor farm boy named Joseph Smith became the basis for the only world religion to originate in America. Americans have never been completely comfortable with the Mormon faith: indeed, the religion Smith founded went on to become one of the most persecuted in U.S. history. A century after strong opposition to the seating of Utah's first Senator and Mormon Apostle, Reed Smoot, several powerful political offices are held by Mormons, and a former Mormon bishop is a contender for the presidency.
The Mormon tradition is unfamiliar and mysterious to most Americans outside of the religion, and understandably generates much curiosity. Mormons in American Politics: From Persecution to Power provides an intellectual foundation of Mormon development and emergence in politics, comprehensively examining significant issues and developments from historical, theological, cultural, and modern perspectives. The work analyzes diverse, contemporary topics including Mormons in popular culture, Mormon understandings of the Constitution, the Mormon welfare program, Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage, and the global expansion of Mormonism.
The book is ideal for scholars and students of American politics, history, and culture; Mormon studies; religious studies; and religion and politics; as well as general readers who are interested in Mormon religion and culture or the rise of Mormon figures in mainstream American politics.
• Provides timely, relevant information about the fastest growing religious group in America, and as Mormon elites being increasingly prominent political, economic, and social leaders
• Offers the unique perspective of a political scientist who lived in the country's most prominent Mormon subculture for an extended period of time
• Blends Mormon and non-Mormon scholarship to offer the best insights from these distinct and divergent groups