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dc.contributor.authorBalli, Tyler A.en
dc.date.accessioned2020-06-27T08:00:59Z
dc.date.available2020-06-27T08:00:59Z
dc.date.issued2020-06-26
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:26057en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/99158
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the feelings of generational anxiety in the Mormon community from 1869 to 1890 and how those feelings intersected with ideas about reading. During this time, older members of the Mormon community in Utah Territory feared how changes in and threats to Mormon society might negatively affect young people's beliefs, abilities, knowledge, and adherence to their parents' religion. Older Mormons recognized a potential ally and enemy in books, newspapers, and other reading materials, which they believed could dramatically shape young people for good or for ill depending on the quality of the material. This thesis argues these older Mormons borrowed many elements from other US literary cultures and repurposed them for distinctly Mormon ends, including achieving theosis (chapter 1), navigating changing dynamics in Mormon families (chapter 2), and building their utopic society, Zion (chapter 3). This research adds to the work of those scholars who have combined the history of Mormonism with book history. It incorporates the voices of everyday Mormons to bring into focus the entire ecosystem of reading for young Mormons by focusing not only on fiction but also on biography, scripture, "Church works," history, and other genres. It examines not only discourse but also institutionalized programs and actions, such as the 1888 MIA Course of Reading (chapter 4), that shaped Mormons' world of reading. Such an examination begins to sharpen our understanding of the relationship of print and religion in America and what reading meant to Mormons.en
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en
dc.subjectthe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsen
dc.subjectself-improvementen
dc.subjectmutual improvement associationsen
dc.subjectreading courseen
dc.subjectcourse of readingen
dc.titleReading in Zion: Book Cultures of Mormon Youth, 1869–1890en
dc.typeThesisen
dc.contributor.departmentHistoryen
dc.description.degreeMaster of Artsen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen
dc.contributor.committeechairDufour, Monique S.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKiechle, Melanie A.en
dc.contributor.committeememberGitre, Carmen Mary Khairen
dc.contributor.committeememberWhittaker, David J.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralThe years from 1869 to 1890 constituted a time of change and worry for the Mormon community in Utah Territory. The completion of the transcontinental railroad and the federal government's increasingly vehement attacks on Mormon polygamy, among other factors, led to worries among older Mormons about the future of their community. They particularly worried about the commitment of the upcoming generation of Mormons, who had not converted to the faith but had just been born into it. This thesis examines how those feelings of worry intersected with ideas about reading. Older Mormons recognized a potential ally in reading materials that could help young people become believing, productive members who would help ensure the future of their community. This thesis argues these older Mormons borrowed many elements from other US literary cultures and repurposed them for distinctly Mormon ends, including achieving theosis (chapter 1), navigating changing dynamics in Mormon families (chapter 2), and building their utopic society, Zion (chapter 3). It examines not only the rhetoric surrounding "good" or "bad" reading but also the institutionalized programs and actions, such as the 1888 MIA Course of Reading (chapter 4), that shaped Mormons' world of reading. Such an examination begins to sharpen our understanding of the relationship of print and religion in America and what reading meant to Mormons.en


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