Paul ReeveChange photo
Edit
  • 215 South Central Campus Dr., Rm. 310
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112
  • 801-585-9231
  • W. Paul Reeve’s current book project, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, is d... moreedit
EditDone Editing
The Protestant white majority in the nineteenth century was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial-not merely religious-departure from the mainstream and they spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being... more
The Protestant white majority in the nineteenth century was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial-not merely religious-departure from the mainstream and they spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white equalled access to political, social, and economic power, all aspects of citizenship in which outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they were white. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but not unscathed. At least a portion of the cost of their struggle came at the expense of their own black converts. Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were they at claiming whiteness for themselves, that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labelled "the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory." Mormons once again found themselves on the wrong side of white.
Upload File
Cain wanders the frontier as a Bigfoot-like hairy beast and confronts an early Mormon apostle. An evil band of murderers from Mormon scripture, known as the Gadianton robbers, provides an excuse for the failure of a desert town. Stories... more
Cain wanders the frontier as a Bigfoot-like hairy beast and confronts an early Mormon apostle. An evil band of murderers from Mormon scripture, known as the Gadianton robbers, provides an excuse for the failure of a desert town. Stories of children raised from the dead with decayed bodies and damaged minds help draw boundaries between the proper spheres of human and divine action. Mormons who observe UFOs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries find ways to explain them in relation to the church’s cosmology. The millenarian dimension of that belief system induces church members to invest in the Dream Mine, a hidden treasure that a would-be heir to Joseph Smith wraps in prophecy of the end times. A Utah version of Nessie haunts a large mountain lake. Non-Mormons attempt to discredit Joseph Smith with tales that he had tried and failed to walk on water.

Mormons gave distinctive meanings to supernatural legends and events, but their narratives incorporated motifs found in many cultures. Many such historical legends and beliefs found adherents down to the present. This collection employs folklore to illuminate the cultural and religious history of a people.
This concise encyclopedia is one of several Mormon reference works published since 2000. Most resemble Scarecrow’s Historical Dictionary of Mormonism (3d ed., 2008) itsA–Z approach. This volume charts a different path, and it is one that... more
This concise encyclopedia is one of several Mormon reference works published since 2000. Most resemble Scarecrow’s Historical Dictionary of Mormonism (3d ed., 2008) itsA–Z approach. This volume charts a different path, and it is one that researchers may enjoy. In fact, they might actually read it from cover to cover. The organizing principle involves four large categories: “Eras,” “Events,” “People,” and “Issues.” Within each category are encyclopedia-like articles—each one signed by its contributor and including recommended resources. For example, there are six articles in the “Eras” section, beginning with “Foundation (1820–1830)” and ending with “Expansion (1941–Present).” In section 2, “Events,” the list of entries is selective. Approximately 30 of the church’s most noteworthy happenings receive attention, including events like Joseph Smith’s First Vision in 1820 and his martyrdom in 1844. Similarly, the “People” section profiles the most notable members of the LDS Church, only two of whom are still living (and excluding Mitt Romney). The “Issues” section is the longest—not necessarily because of the number of entries but because of the more substantive treatment each one receives. Readers will find here subjects that demand inclusion, such as Mormon missiology, Mormonism and race, and Polygamy. Overall, the volume is tailor-made for those wanting information on the most prominent figures, the most influential moments, and the hottest topics. In other words, it has little in common with Daniel Ludlow’s massive four-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992). Also worth mentioning are the 16-page chronology and 14-page bibliography that conclude the work. A very nice addition for libraries with little need for a multivolume set on Mormonism. Also available as an e-book. --Wade Osburn
"Reeve's research into the diaries, memoirs, letters, newspaper accounts, government and court records, oral traditions, and ethnography is truly impressive, as is his handling of a vast but scattered secondary literature that crosses... more
"Reeve's research into the diaries, memoirs, letters, newspaper accounts, government and court records, oral traditions, and ethnography is truly impressive, as is his handling of a vast but scattered secondary literature that crosses several topical fields . . . and research disciplines. . . . This is an important book that deserves wide readership and discussion, both for the history it uncovers and for the engaging scholarly model it presents."--Ethnohistory
-
author rank

Join Paul and 36,754,102 other researchers on Academia.edu

not now
Academia © 2016