336: Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier: Ben Park

From the Book Cover ‘Kingdom of Nauvoo’ by Ben Park

Is the USA a democracy, a nascent theocracy, or a mobocracy?  Perhaps it’s all of those things and all at the same time.  

The Mormon Nauvoo experience gives us a strong sense of the unsettled ideological, economic and religious arguments that remain unresolved in the United States.  Powder Keg is what the United States feels like in 2020, and after reading Kingdom of Nauvo that covers a short period of American religious history between 1839-1846, this book brings some of these centuries-old quandaries about America into perspective.

Faith and violence are twinned in this remarkable telling of a doomed social and theocratic experiment to find a religious utopia under the leadership of Joseph Smith.  

Plodding and boring this story is not.  

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  1. David

    I wonder sometimes if Mormonism helped me become woke to religion at a deeper agnostic level than any other faith system (including atheism) ever might have. With Mormonism portraying literal perspectives that border lines with the absurd, it helps you become cognitively aware of underlying issues.

    Granted, some people never wake up to realize the falsity of it all, but it must be harder to avoid the facts in the era of the internet.

    Learning about Mormonism’s conception seems to reveal the way all religions were conceived and distorted over time… and yet we still embrace it all and call it divine. Unless you chose to be atheist of course, but when nothing is divine then suddenly everything is.

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