In Park City last week, I talked to Jon Krakauer, the author of "Under the Banner of Heaven,'' a history of Mormonism
, and executive producer of "Prophet's Prey,'' a Showtime documentary, which was premiering at Sundance, about the most infamous Mormon polygamous cult.
For more information on "Mitt Romney, Mormonism
, and the 2012 Election," visit http://www.
That same pattern was played out in a different key, we might say, when Mormons began to respond to scholarly claims about Mormonism
as a new religion during the post - 1970 period.
LGBT Mormons who once faced excommunication or self-deportation from their communities are now coming out in greater numbers, embracing their sexual orientations while refusing to abandon Mormonism
Consequently, he does not bring orthodox sources of Islam or Mormonism
into the conversation but, rather, confines himself to a selective treatment of those references that serve his purpose.
It each of these phases, Mormonism
played a critical role in the self-definition and understanding of the United States as a nation.
And while Jeffress has claimed Mormonism
comes straight "from the pit of Hell," he still publicly supported Mitt Romney for president last year because Barack Obama is "paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.
Brady's "Transformations of Power: Mormon Women's Visionary Narratives," both look at gender and, to some degree, gender power structures in Mormonism
According to the Pew report, questions about faith in presidential politics, particularly in relation to Mormonism
, also featured prominently in media in 2011.
Rick Perry had to do some public squirming when a prominent Baptist backer, the Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, announced that Romney is "not a Christian" and that Mormonism
"has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.
On being invited to comment on Mormonism
, he said: "Mormonism
a mystery to me, but Mormons certainly not evil".
But such views may underappreciate how widespread is the view that Mormons are not Christians, and how many have been schooled that Mormonism
is a dangerous heresy and may, as a result, be unable to bring themselves to vote for a Mormon.