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Friday, November 14, 2014

Mormons and Politics

With the advent of the Mitt Romney campaign for President, one could argue that the Mormon faith (aka the LDS Church--The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) has come of age. It is now part of the American mainstream. We can see additional evidence of this in the Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon," which won several Tony awards and poked fun at the Mormon faith. The fact that the play's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are also the geniuses behind "South Park," could produce such a play without fear of any significant backlash (e.g., violence) from people of the Mormon faith is a testimony to how mainstream the LDS Church has become.

In an interesting interview with two political scientists, David Campbell (from Notre Dame) and Quin Monson (from Brigham Young University), Tony Gill of Research on Religion explores the role of Mormons in public life in the United States ("David Campbell & Quin Monson on Mormons & Politics in America"). The interview explores many of the themes examined in the book, "Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics," which Campbell and Monson, along with University of Akron political scientist, John Green, just published through Cambridge University Press. I haven't read it yet, but I plan to (it's on my night stand). Campbell is coauthor of the book, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, with Harvard political scientist, Robert Putnam (another book that's up next on my to do list).

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