The deep red state of Utah is surprising pundits as the 2016 presidential election approaches. For the first time in over fifty years, the state is poised to vote for someone other than the Republican nominee. Mormons within the Republican party have been singled out as a significant reason Utah is looking elsewhere. It’s useful to ask, how did things get to this point?
Throughout its existence, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have seen themselves as a “peculiar people.” At the same time, they’ve worked hard to fit in with their broader American culture. These goals require a lot of balancing. Political scientists J. Quin Monson and David E. Campbell write that being people set apart while also becoming socially accepted is like a “promised land” that Mormons have been seeking from the 1800s to the present. They join us in this episode to talk about their book, Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics.
Look for Molly Worthen’s book review of Seeking the Promised Land and other books on Mormons and politics in volume 4 of the Mormon Studies Review, out this November.
About the Guests
David E. Campbell (pictured left) is a professor of political science at the university of Notre Dame and co-author of the award-winning book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.
J. Quin Monson (right) is associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University whose research has appeared in places like the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and Political Research Quarterly.
Together with John C. Green they wrote Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics.
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