Chapter

Hallowed Ground

Samuel Morris Brown

in In Heaven as It Is on Earth

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793570
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932511 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793570.003.0005
Hallowed Ground

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This chapter examines Mormonism's interest in the history of Native Americans, in the midst of Indian removal, from the perspective of Mormons’ relationship to ancestral graves. Smith founded all major Mormon settlements among Native gravesites with an acute awareness that Natives’ bodies were interred in America's soil. Dramatically revising the vanishing Indian motif of their peers, Mormons used images of Indian (“Lamanite” in Mormon parlance) history and future to come to terms with their own mortality. This chapter also argues that Smith's commitment to the physical Garden of Eden and Mormon settlement near what they understood to be Adam's grave is part of the same tendency to locate civilization on ground sacralized by ancestral remains.

Keywords: Indian removal; Vanishing Indian; Indianism; Lamanites; Garden of Eden

Chapter.  10048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Christianity

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