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Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon$
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Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190221928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190221928.001.0001

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How the Mormons Became White

How the Mormons Became White

Scripture, Sex, Sovereignty

(p.259) 10 How the Mormons Became White
Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon

Peter Coviello

Oxford University Press

This essay scrutinizes the place of race and indigeneity in The Book of Mormon, paying special attention to the ways questions of origins work themselves out in relation to the text’s altogether singular narrative form. Taking up the strains of anti-imperial critique to be found in the work—its glancing vision of the putative heroes, the Nephites, as self-blinded imperialists—the essay examines how precisely this sense of the political morality of The Book of Mormon played out in the Mormons’ ventures into the West, where it came to be routed through the Saints’ fractured identifications and disidentifications with Native peoples, with the imperial United States, and with their own scriptural forebears.

Keywords:   indigeneity, imperialism, first-person narration, colonialism, critique

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