L57 RelPol 390

Mormon History in Global Context

Spring 2020, M 2:30–5:20PM

This seminar will explore issues raised by Mormonism’s move toward the religious mainstream alongside its continuing distinctiveness.

WUCRSL
line drawing of three people teaching superimposed on each other

The focus of this seminar is Mormonism, meaning, primarily, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest Mormon body. Mormons in the United States have gone from being one of the most intensely persecuted religious groups in the country’s history to the fourth largest religious body in the U.S., with a reputation for patriotism and conservative family values. In addition to introducing who the Mormons are, their beliefs and religious practices, this seminar will explore issues raised by Mormonism’s move toward the religious mainstream alongside its continuing distinctiveness. These issues include: What is the religious “mainstream” in the U.S.? How did conflicts over Mormonism during the 19th century, especially the conflict over polygamy, help define the limits of religious tolerance in this country? How have LDS teachings about gender and race, or controversies about whether or not Mormons are Christian, positioned and repositioned Mormons within U.S. society?

Course history:

  • Spring 2014: taught by Prof. Laurie Maffly-Kipp
  • Spring 2017: taught by Prof. Laurie Maffly-Kipp
  • The in–class discussions allowed me to gain a deeper, more appreciative understanding of Mormonism.

    — Spring 2020

  • Unique, interesting, fun.

    — Spring 2020