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Pioneers in the Attic


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About the Author

Sara M. Patterson is Professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College. She teaches courses addressing religion in the Americas, the intersections of race and religion, as well as the intersections of religion, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of Middle of Nowhere: Religion, Art, and Popular Culture at Salvation Mountain and co-editor of Race, Religion, Region: Landscapes of Encounter in the American West.


Pioneers in the Attic weaves material culture, theology and history together to illuminate that Mormonism's preoccupation with its past not only encourages communal cohesion, but has the added benefit of blunting growing pains. This is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how felt religion intersects with collective memory and how Mormonism has deployed both in order to navigate theological transitions. * Amy Hoy, co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender *
Patterson skillfully analyzes how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints creates and maintains sacred space by connecting physical places and a metaphorical idea of Zion. She also explains how individual believers arrive at an emotional truth that connects them to the land and to the stories of their faith. Pioneers in the Attic is a must-read for anyone interested in religion and space, and for those who want to understand modern-day Mormonism. * Quincy D. Newell, author of Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon *
Central to understanding the history of the Mormon movement is the notion of Zion as a multi-faceted ideal. That ideal powerfully reminds LDS believers of particular elements of the American West, and is employed by the LDS Church as a mode of remembrance and collective celebration. Patterson's deft analysis highlights how the melding of time, space, and memory furthers institutional ends and situates church members, regardless of physical location, in a uniquely American story. * Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis *

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