The rural Midwestern town of Nauvoo, Illinois, was once the center of an American religious narrative. As the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Latter-day Saint or Mormon) in the mid-nineteenth century, the community suffered religious tension that culminated in the murder of the faith’s founder, Joseph Smith, and the expulsion of most of the group’s adherents. In this wake, a wave of largely Catholic immigrants arrived to occupy the vacant homes and create their own story, one of prosperous farms and vineyards and a stately private religious boarding school. In the twentieth century, however, religious tensions reemerged when the Latter-day Saints returned from the West, seeking to restore Nauvoo as a religious heritage site for their past. Through competition, and eventually collaboration, Catholic and Latter-day Saint interests merged to preserve a story of American religious life. In doing so, they modelled how diverse faith traditions can cooperate to craft a common future.


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pp. 23-44
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