Religious Minorities and the Problem of Peculiar Peoplehood

Patrick Q. Mason

in The Mormon Menace

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740024
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894666 | DOI:
Religious Minorities and the Problem of Peculiar Peoplehood

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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

Chapter.  10743 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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