The Politics of American Religious Identity
The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle
By Kathleen Flake
(University of North Carolina Press, Paperback, 9780807855010, 256pp.)
Publication Date: March 10, 2004
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Flake contends that the Smoot hearing was the forge in which the Latter-day Saints, the Protestants, and the Senate hammered out a model for church-state relations, shaping for a new generation of non-Protestant and non-Christian Americans what it meant to be free and religious. In addition, she discusses the Latter-day Saints' use of narrative and collective memory to retain their religious identity even as they changed to meet the nation's demands.