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Three Generations of Mormon Legal History: A Historiographic Introduction


Nathan B. Oman


William & Mary Law School

May 22, 2007


Abstract:     
This is an essay on the past practice and future possibilities of Mormon legal history. For most legal scholars, the fact that there even is such a thing as "Mormon legal history" comes as a surprise, and the idea that it "should be proved . . . to be worthy of the interest of an intelligent man" may sound dubious at best. In part, such a reaction stems from the marginal status of Mormons. At a broader level, however, the invisibility of Mormon legal history is simply part of the broader problem of the discussion of religion within the legal academy. The thesis of this essay, however, is that the relative invisibility of Mormon legal history lies mainly in the idiosyncratic intellectual development of Mormon legal historiography itself. By explaining that development and introducing the work that has already been done on Mormon legal history, I hope to assist future scholars to better integrate Mormon legal experience into the mainstream discussions of the legal academy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: legal history law & religion Mormonism historiography

working papers series


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Date posted: May 23, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Oman, Nathan B., Three Generations of Mormon Legal History: A Historiographic Introduction (May 22, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=988178 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.988178

Contact Information

Nathan B. Oman (Contact Author)
William & Mary Law School ( email )
South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
HOME PAGE: http://nboman.people.wm.edu
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