Politics of American Religious Identity The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle

ISBN-10: 0807855014
ISBN-13: 9780807855010
Edition: 2004
Authors: Kathleen Flake
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Description: Between 1901 and 1907, a broad coalition of Protestant churches sought to expel newly elected Reed Smoot from the Senate, arguing that as an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Smoot was a lawbreaker and therefore unfit to be  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 3/22/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Between 1901 and 1907, a broad coalition of Protestant churches sought to expel newly elected Reed Smoot from the Senate, arguing that as an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Smoot was a lawbreaker and therefore unfit to be a lawmaker. The resulting Senate investigative hearing featured testimony on every peculiarity of Mormonism, especially its polygamous family structure. The Smoot hearing ultimately mediated a compromise between Progressive Era Protestantism and Mormonism and resolved the nation's long-standing "Mormon Problem." On a broader scale, Kathleen Flake shows how this landmark hearing provided the occasion for the country--through its elected representatives, the daily press, citizen petitions, and social reform activism--to reconsider the scope of religious free exercise in the new century. Flake contends that the Smoot hearing was the forge in which the Latter-day Saints, the Protestants, and the Senate hammered out a model for church-state relations, shaping for a new generation of non-Protestant and non-Christian Americans what it meant to be free and religious. In addition, she discusses the Latter-day Saints' use of narrative and collective memory to retain their religious identity even as they changed to meet the nation's demands.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The American Idea of a Church
The Man Who Served Two Masters
Subordinating to the State
The Common Good
Re-Placing Memory
Defining Denominational Citizenship
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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