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The Viper on the HearthMormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy$
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Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199933808

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199933808.001.0001

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“They Ain’t Whites…They’re Mormons”: Fictive Responses to the Anxiety of Seduction

“They Ain’t Whites…They’re Mormons”: Fictive Responses to the Anxiety of Seduction

Chapter:
(p.131) Chapter 7“They Ain’t Whites…They’re Mormons”: Fictive Responses to the Anxiety of Seduction
Source:
The Viper on the Hearth
Author(s):

Terryl L. Givens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199933808.003.0007

This chapter analyzes the particular strategies popular-fiction writers have inherited and adapted to Mormon subject matter. Pervasive patterns of representation in a host of examples emerge as a means by which Mormon ethnicity and character are constructed in such a way as to alleviate the dread of contagion posed by this “viper on the hearth.” At the same time, these representations, by recasting a religious conflict in terms of political struggle and ideological self-preservation, reveal the ideological conflicts present when a secular, pluralistic democracy engages the heretical.

Keywords:   popular fiction writes, mormonism, mormon ethnicity, religious conflict, political struggle, self-preservation

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