From the Outside Looking in: Essays on Mormon History, Theology, and Culture

ISBN : 9780190244668

Reid L. Neilson; Matthew J. Grow
440 ページ
158 x 236 mm

This book contains fifteen essays, each first presented as the annual Tanner lecture at the conference of the Mormon History Association by leading historians and religious studies scholars, approaching Mormon history from a wide variety of angles, from gender to globalization. Renowned in their own fields but relatively new to the study of Mormon history at the time of their lecture, the scholars bring their own expertise to understanding Mormonism's past and present. Examining Mormon history from an outsider's perspective, they ask intriguing questions, share fresh insights and perspectives, analyze familiar sources in unexpected ways, and place Mormonism in broader scholarly debates. Several essays place Mormonism within the currents of American religious history - for example, by placing Joseph Smith and other Latter-day Saints in conversation with 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 cultural landscape. Finally, essayists study recent Latter-day Saint growth around the world in recent decades, including in Africa, within the context of the study of global religions.


General Introduction by Richard Lyman Bushman
Part 1: The American Religious Landscape
Introduction by Reid L. Neilson
1. Alan Taylor, "The Free Seekers: Religious Culture in Upstate New York, 1790-1835"
2. Richard H. Brodhead, "Prophets in America ca. 1830: Emerson, Nat Turner, Joseph Smith"
3. Stephen J. Stein, "Historical Reflections on Mormon Futures"
4. Catherine A. Brekus, "Mormon Women and the Problem of Historical Agency"
5. Leigh Schmidt, "Mormons, Freethinkers, and the Limits of Toleration"
Part 2: The Creation of Mormon Identities
Introduction by Matthew J. Grow
6. Charles L. Cohen, "The Construction of the Mormon People"
7. Elliott West, "Becoming Mormon"
8. Randall Balmer, "'Faith in the Religion of Their Fathers': Passing Mormonism from One Generation to the Next"
Part 3: The Study of Western Histories
Introduction by Matthew J. Grow
9. Dell Upton, "What the Mormon Cultural Landscape Can Teach Us"
10. William Deverell, "Thoughts from the Farther West: Mormons, California, and the Civil War"
11. Walter Nugent, "The Mormons and America's Empires"
12. George A. Miles, "Mormon Stories: A Librarian's Perspective"
Part 4. The Study of Global Religions
Introduction by Reid L. Neilson
13. David B. Marshall, "The Latter-day Saints, the Doughnut, and Post-Christian Canada"
14. Philip Jenkins, "Letting Go: Understanding Mormon Growth in Africa"
15. Jehu J. Hanciles, "'Would That All God's People Were Prophets': Mormonism and the New Shape of Global Christianity"


Reid L. Neilson is Assistant Church Historian and Recorder/Managing Director in the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.; Matthew J. Grow is the Director of Publications in the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.