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Max Mueller on Race and the Making of the Mormon People

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We look forward to welcoming Prof. Max Mueller to address the Virginia Colloquium in American Religion on his recent book Race and the Making of the Mormon People (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Max Perry Mueller is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in American religious history. His research and teaching focuses on the intersection of religion, race, and politics in the nineteenth century. The central animating question of his scholarship is how the act of writing—especially the writing of historical narratives—has affected the creation and contestation of “race” as a category of political and religious division in American history. Mueller’s first book, Race and the Making of the Mormon People (under contract, The University of North Carolina Press), analyzes the racialized scriptures, histories, and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) as case studies to consider how nineteenth-century Americans turned to religion to solve the early American republic’s “race problem.” Other areas of research and teaching include the history of the American West, religion and modernity, religion and politics, and religion and journalism. Mueller’s research and teaching also connect with his public scholarship. Mueller has written on religion, race, and politics for outlets including Slate, The New Republic, and The Atlantic. He also co-founded and continues to serve as contributing editor for Religion & Politics, the online journal of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, whose mission is to bring the best scholarship on religion and American public life to audiences beyond the academy.