Mormonism, gender, and art in nineteenth-century Scandinavia

Authored by: Julie K. Allen

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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The flourishing of Mormonism in Scandinavia in the second half of the nineteenth century coincided with a period of intense sociopolitical transformation in the region. Eventually, this resulted in a move away from hierarchical, patriarchal, autocratic states toward more inclusive, representative, secular countries. Though no high-profile cultural figures in Scandinavia joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, awareness of this historical context and its cultural manifestations is crucial to understanding both how Mormonism was received in Scandinavia and how Scandinavian converts negotiated their changing status in their home countries, particularly with regard to gender and class. Literature and visual arts—by Bertel Thorvaldsen, Christen Dalsgaard, Carl Bloch, C.C.A. Christensen, Elisa Stampe, and Arnold Friberg, among others—served an integral purpose in illustrating and articulating these negotiations, their significance for the practice of Mormonism by Scandinavian converts, and their relationship to the Church’s cultural practices relating to gender.

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