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The Viper on the HearthMormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy$
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Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199933808

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199933808.001.0001

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“Murder and Mystery—Mormon Style”: The Mormon Image in the Twentieth Century—and Beyond

“Murder and Mystery—Mormon Style”: The Mormon Image in the Twentieth Century—and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter 8“Murder and Mystery—Mormon Style”: The Mormon Image in the Twentieth Century—and Beyond
Source:
The Viper on the Hearth
Author(s):

Terryl L. Givens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199933808.003.0008

This chapter considers recent developments in the representation of Mormons in popular culture. It is a cliché in Mormon studies that Mormonism successfully adapted itself to mainstream culture by the mid-twentieth century. It is argued that just as developments in rhetorical practice facilitated a public campaign against the religion in the nineteenth century, so have more recent developments conspired to restrain and domesticate literature of the hostile imagination in general. Still, the Mormon image in popular fiction was too versatile a tool to abandon once moral indignation became unmasked as bigotry. Recurrent uses to which Mormon characters have been put, in theater, television, and popular fiction, suggest the script may have changed considerably, but the resilient Mormon caricature has found new roles to play.

Keywords:   mormons, mormonism, popular culture, mormon studies, mormon image

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