Religion Dispatches: What the History of Mormonism Reveals about the Origins of “Race”

I participated in RD’s now canonical “10 Questions” series on new books. Other recent contributors include Wendy Doniger, Jason Josephson Storm, and Haroon Moghul.

What inspired you to write Race and the Making of the Mormon People?

Let me be a bit confessional. I’m not a Mormon, but Mormon culture has probably formed me more than any other religious culture (even my own). When I was very young, living in Wyoming, my parents were in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. During this time, I spent many hours with Mormon playmates. The contrast between our home life and the loving and caring home life of my Mormon friends endeared me to Mormon culture. It also made me curious about the history that created such a culture—a culture that is welcoming and loving but can be/is often rigid, patriarchal, tribal, and reluctant to change.

Read the rest here.

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