This book contains fifteen essays, each first presented as the annual Tanner Lecture at the conference of the Mormon History Association by a leading scholar. Renowned in their own specialties but relatively new to the study of Mormon history at the time of their lectures, these scholars approach Mormon history from a wide variety of perspectives, including such concerns as gender, identity creation, and globalization. Several of these essays place Mormon history within the currents of American religious history--for example, by placing Joseph Smith and other Latter-day Saints in conversation with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nat Turner, fellow millenarians, and freethinkers. Other essays explore the creation of Mormon identities, demonstrating how Mormons created a unique sense of themselves as a distinct people. Historians of the American West examine Mormon connections with American imperialism, the Civil War, and the wider cultural landscape. Finally the essayists look at continuing Latter-day Saint growth around the world, within the context of the study of global religions. Examining Mormon history from an outsiders perspective, the essays presented in this volume ask intriguing questions, share fresh insights and perspectives, analyze familiar sources in unexpected ways, and situate research on the Mormon past within broader scholarly debates.
From the Outside Looking In: Essays on Mormon History, Theology, and Culture
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