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Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism
by Peter Coviello
University of Chicago Press, 2019
eISBN: 978-0-226-47447-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-47416-8 | Paper: 978-0-226-47433-5
Library of Congress Classification BX8611.C6485 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 289.373

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
From the perspective of Protestant America, nineteenth-century Mormons were the victims of a peculiar zealotry, a population deranged––socially, sexually, even racially––by the extravagances of belief they called “religion.” Make Yourselves Gods offers a counter-history of early Mormon theology and practice, tracking the Saints from their emergence as a dissident sect to their renunciation of polygamy at century’s end.
 
Over these turbulent decades, Mormons would appear by turns as heretics, sex-radicals, refugees, anti-imperialists, colonizers, and, eventually, reluctant monogamists and enfranchised citizens. Reading Mormonism through a synthesis of religious history, political theology, native studies, and queer theory, Peter Coviello deftly crafts a new framework for imagining orthodoxy, citizenship, and the fate of the flesh in nineteenth-century America. What emerges is a story about the violence, wild beauty, and extravagant imaginative power of this era of Mormonism—an impassioned book with a keen interest in the racial history of sexuality and the unfinished business of American secularism.
 
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