Nebraska Today: Book of Mormon among religious texts that outline racial divides

I’m honored to have Race and the Making of the Mormon People featured in the September 13 edition of Nebraska Today.

Where did the notion of race arise? Historians and social scientists have long sought to answer this question, identifying ebbs and flows in its cultural significance, yet never reaching agreement on how it began.

After spending nearly a decade researching the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, historian of American religion Max Perry Mueller argues that racial constructs often originate in religious texts and that religion played an outsized role in establishing the notion of race in the United States.

“The origins of race don’t really begin from observations of the body or even experiences, they’re written histories,” said Mueller, an assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Race starts on the page, particularly in written scriptures.”

Read the rest here.

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