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LDS in the USA
Mormonism and the Making of American Culture
From the politics of Glenn Beck to reality television's Big Love and the hit Broadway show The Book of Mormon, Mormons have become a recognizable staple of mainstream popular culture. And while most Americans are well aware of the existence of Mormonism—and some of the often exaggerated myths about Mormonism—the religion's public influence has been sorely understudied.
Lee Trepanier and Lynita K. Newswander move beyond clichéd and stereotypical portrayals of Mormonism to unpack the significant and sometimes surprising roles Mormons have played in the building of modern America. Moving from popular culture to politics to the Mormon influence in social controversies, LDS in the USA reveals Mormonism to be quintessentially American—both firmly rooted in American tradition and free to engage in the public square.
Trepanier and Newswander examine the intersection of the tension between the nation's sometimes bizarre understanding of Mormon belief and the suspicious acceptance of the most well known Mormons into the American public identity. Readers are consistently challenged to abandon popular perceptions in order to embrace more fully the fascinating importance of this American religion.
Introduction: For Another Thousand Years
1 Mormons in the American Imagination
2 An American Marriage
3 The Political Kingdom of God
4 An American Theology
5 Mormonism as the American Narrative
Conclusion: The Most American of Religions
"An engaging and sympathetic introduction to the Mormon people and their religion. LDS in the USA makes clear the essentially American nature of this religion as well as the reasons for its ongoing struggle to gain greater tolerance in American society and politics."
—Armand L. Mauss, author of All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage
"LDS in the USA is unique and welcome. Mormonism is the most American of religions, but it, perhaps like Islam, is the most marginalized. Trepanier and Newswander provide an indispensable guide to understanding Mormonism at this complex moment of American political, cultural, and religious history."
—John von Heyking, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Lethbridge
Lee Trepanier is Associate Professor of Political Science at Saginaw Valley State University. He lives in the greater Saginaw, Michigan area.
Lynita K. Newswander is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Dakota. She lives in Vermillion, South Dakota.