After investing an estimated six million dollars and close to a decade's worth of time into its international “I'm a Mormon” campaign aimed at promoting the diversity of its membership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in 2018 that its members should no longer be called “Mormons.” President Russel M. Nelson grounded the style guide changes in revelation: “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church” (Nelson 2018). Nelson also emphasized that he was not calling for “a name change,” or a “cosmetic” “rebranding” based on “whim,” but rather a “non-negotiable” “correction” commanded by God himself (Nelson 2018). The new name—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—wasn't new at all. And while many note that it's much more cumbersome and confusing than the term “Mormons” (Stack 2019), this revealed name reinforces important aspects...
Lydia R. Kerr teaches twentieth and twenty-first century American Literature, Latino/a/e Literature, African American Literature, and literary theory at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, where she is also president of the university's American Federation of Teachers chapter. Her work, which explores the intersections of race, gender, and religion, has been published in the Inheritance in Psychoanalysis volume of the SUNY Press Insinuations Series on Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Literature; The Religion and Culture Web Forum at The University of Chicago Divinity School; Correspondances de l’École freudienne du Quebéc; and Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious. In 2013, she was guest editor for a special issue of CR: The New Centennial Review on Psychoanalysis and Race. Recently, she organized the Mormonism and the Challenges of Whiteness student reading group and speaker series with the Center for the Study of Ethics at UVU. She held an Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship at the State University of New York at Buffalo where she received a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2012.
Lydia R. Kerr; Mormonicity. CR: The New Centennial Review 1 July 2022; 22 (2): 205–239. doi: https://doi.org/10.14321/crnewcentrevi.22.2.0205
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