In this segment with author and historian of American Religion John G. Turner, we discuss the origins and development of the uniquely American religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or as it is more colloquially referred: the “Mormon Church”), explored in John’s biography of the Church’s influential second president in ‘Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet’ and in his more recent book ‘The Mormon Jesus: A Biography’ which covers the Church’s theological underpinnings and place within the tapestry of American Christianity. John’s sober and detailed examination of the roots of the LDS Church sheds a light on the personalities of the individuals (Brigham Young and Joseph Smith) that made the most crucial and influential decisions in the history of not only the Church, but also in the westward expansion of the American Project (e.g. Manifest Destiny), as well as the colonization of the North American continent more generally. By understanding the roots of this religion, we can further understand the history of the United States and its expansionist program, as well as the role the Church played in that project.
John G. Turner is professor of American Religion at George Mason University, with a special interest in Mormonism, Evangelism, and the history of Colonial New England. John is the author of ‘Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America,’ ‘Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet,’ and ‘The Mormon Jesus: A Biography.’ John is currently next project is a history of Plymouth Colony, scheduled for publication in 2020 (the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower). Learn more about John’s work at his website: https://johngturner.com
This is a segment of episode #150 of Last Born In The Wilderness “An American Religion: Pioneer Prophets & The Colonization Of The West w/ John G. Turner.” Listen to the full episode: http://bit.ly/LBWturner