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A New History of Mormonism

Credit for headshot is Justin Calhoun. Credit for cover: Liveright Cooperation. 
Liveright Cooperation

Upstate New York, 1830: self-proclaimed prophets are creating new faiths. Joseph Smith was one such man, and it was his new religion that would endure.

Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded by Smith, counts its members in the millions. In a new book, the scholar Benjamin E. Park explains why Mormonism thrived when so many other American-made creeds floundered. But this isn’t an account about the single-minded success of one religion. Rather, Park says that the LDS Church has always been defined by inner conflict — from debates about feminism, race, and even trans issues. Join us for a conversation about the place of Mormonism in the American story.

Correction: In the interview, we incorrectly stated the year Dick Cheney spoke at Brigham Young University. He spoke in 2007, not 2008.


Benjamin E. Park | Associate Professor of Education at Sam Houston State University. His latest book is “American Zion: A New History of Mormonism” [Amazon|Bookshop].

Air date: Jan. 18, 2024 at 9 a.m. and Saturday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m.