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Religion

Spring 2010

Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

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Matthew Avery Sutton
Harvard University Press, 2007

No figure in early twentieth-century Christianity gained as much fame, notoriety, and acclaim as Aimee Semple McPherson. “Sister” McPherson oversaw the rise of an expansive empire—church services, radio, stagecraft, community service, politics, and print media—devoted to spreading her brand of fundamentalism and Pentecostal Protestantism. McPherson herself inspired a massive following, due in part to her charisma and ability to use modern techniques to further her cause of “old-time … » More …

Winter 2005

Medieval Missive: An ancient document rediscovered

A sacred and significant artifact of European history-a genuine papal bull from the Middle Ages-was recently found tucked among the books and papers of Washington State University’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

The bull, or bulla, named for its original form as a bubble-shaped metal plate, and later for the lead seal affixed to an official document, was most often a legal missive from the pope. Papal bulls did everything from advocate for an individual’s safe travel to advise the citizens of a country to follow their king.

The written communication from the pope now at WSU once protected a house for lepers in the … » More …

All Abraham's Children: Changing Conceptions of Race and Lineage

This thoroughly documented study of race and identity within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints unravels various ways Mormons have constructed and negotiated their identity throughout history. Armand Mauss, professor emeritus of sociology at Washington State University, makes the intriguing argument that Mormonism provides a unique case in which religious prejudice or particularism actually undermines secular prejudice. While Mormon relations with other races have not been without difficulty, documentation provided here demonstrates that in specific cases, Mormons hold less prejudicial attitudes than other white Americans.

This is due, according to Mauss, to a theology linking Mormon lineage with other ethnic groups. Believing Native … » More …