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Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America$
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Jake Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042515

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042515.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Voice Interrupted

Voice Interrupted

Book of Mormon and the Failed Message of Correlated Mormonism

(p.142) 5 Voice Interrupted
Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America

Jake Johnson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter places the 2011 Broadway sensation Book of Mormon within the context of Correlation. The musical Book of Mormon demonstrates that interrupting ancient mythologies with current popular mythologies may help strengthen people facing unimaginable hardships, and that the singular message of American fundamentalism--one built upon obedience and narrow views of piety--will ultimately fail. Book of Mormon, along with other musical satires emerging in recent years from within Mormonism, represent musical theater affronts to the Mormon Church that have become more prominent in the last decades of the twentieth century as the Church removes dissenting members, including those espousing feminist or intellectual ideologies seemingly at odds with current Church policies. This chapter situates the concept of excommunication within musicologist Nina Eidsheim’s vibrational theory and Levinas’s ethics of communication, and suggests that Mormonism can be a powerful vehicle for improving lives if it returns to its original principle where multiple voices are seen as an asset, not a liability.

Keywords:   interruption, Levinas, Book of Mormon, Correlation, Nina Eidsheim, vibrational theory, ethics of communication, excommunication, multiple voices, Epilogue

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