Review: Essays on American Indian & Mormon History
By David G.June 24, 2020
This is an abbreviated version of a longer review that will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Mormon History (thanks to the editors of the journal for permission to post this in advance of the journal’s version). If you missed it, see here for editor Brenden Rensink’s JI guestpost on the book.
P. Jane Hafen and Brenden W. Rensink, eds. Essays on American Indian & Mormon History. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019. xxxiv + 372 pp. Notes, bibliography, contributors, index. Hardback: $45.00. eBook: $40.00.
P. Jane Hafen (Taos Pueblo) and Brenden W. Rensink have compiled eleven substantive essays that explore themes in the history of American Indians and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hafen is professor emerita of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, while Rensink is Associate Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University.
Most of the essays in the collection were written in conjunction with a seminar hosted by the Redd Center in 2016. The editors’ introduction states that the collection seeks to identify “ways [that] Indigenous thought”—centered around issues such as Indigenous sovereignty, land and resources, colonialism, and decolonization—“interacts with Mormon histories, Mormon arts, and contemporary Mormon practices” (xii-xiii).
The introduction notes that previous scholarship has, with few exceptions, focused primarily on white Latter-day Saint views of Native peoples, whereas the featured essays instead reverse the equation by placing Natives at the center of the telling of Latter-day Saint history.
…. Essays on American Indian & Mormon History is a significant intervention in the growing literature that examines the interactions between Native peoples and Latter-day Saint religion. Although some essays more effectively break new ground than others, taken as a whole the collection provides an indispensable introduction to the main themes of that history....
https://juvenileinstructor.org/review-e ... n-history/
Should be interesting. My family history includes a relative who served multiple “Lamanite” missions on the Navajo Reservation so I am looking forward to reading these essays.