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The Mormon MenaceViolence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South$
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Patrick Mason

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740024.001.0001

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Religious Minorities and the Problem of Peculiar Peoplehood

Religious Minorities and the Problem of Peculiar Peoplehood

(p.171) 9 Religious Minorities and the Problem of Peculiar Peoplehood
The Mormon Menace

Patrick Q. Mason (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Examining cases of anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic violence alongside anti-Mormonism helps us better understand not only the historical encounter of religious minorities in the postbellum South but also the multivalent dynamics of religion in a conflict setting. Religion played different roles in the ways that Mormons, Jews, and Catholics precipitated, experienced, and responded to southern violence as religious outsiders. In each case, the victims were accused of sinning against the social order, and violence (actual and threatened) became the means of punishing the transgressors and compelling them to conform to southern cultural and religious orthodoxies. The extent of religious violence suffered by Mormons, Catholics, and Jews directly related to the degree to which these various groups deployed their particular religious peoplehood. For Mormons and other religious minorities, relative inclusion occurred only after a lengthy process of accommodation and compromise in which certain minority rights were renounced even as others were realized.

Keywords:   Mormons, Jews, Catholics, religious violence, conflict, peoplehood, religious minorities, minority rights, accommodation

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