Book cover of Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism by Peter Covielloby Peter Coviello

From the perspective of Protestant America, nineteenth-century Mormons were the victims of a peculiar zealotry, a population deranged––socially, sexually, even racially––by the extravagances of belief they called “religion.” Make Yourselves Gods offers a counter-history of early Mormon theology and practice, tracking the Saints from their emergence as a dissident sect to their renunciation of polygamy at century’s end.

Over these turbulent decades, Mormons would appear by turns as heretics, sex-radicals, refugees, anti-imperialists, colonizers, and, eventually, reluctant monogamists and enfranchised citizens. Reading Mormonism through a synthesis of religious history, political theology, native studies, and queer theory, Peter Coviello deftly crafts a new framework for imagining orthodoxy, citizenship, and the fate of the flesh in nineteenth-century America. What emerges is a story about the violence, wild beauty, and extravagant imaginative power of this era of Mormonism—an impassioned book with a keen interest in the racial history of sexuality and the unfinished business of American secularism.[/su_expand]

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art for American History HitAmerican History Hit 
Mormons & The Founding of Salt Lake City
7/20/23            51 min

Podcast Art for the New Book NetworkNew Books Network 
Peter Coviello, “Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
10/12/22            68 min

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