Matthew Bowman is the author or editor of several books.
The Mormon People: the making of an American faith (Random House, 2012), is general history of the Mormon movement that explores its uneasy relationship with American culture. It traces Mormonism’s initial rejection of American cultural and economic norms, the religion’s gradual assimilation into them in the twentieth century, and its precarious position today, when it is gaining strength in the global South but again finding itself culturally out of step with the American mainstream.
The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism (Oxford, 2014), argues that the rise of cultural diversity in urban America after the Civil War led many Protestants to embrace an ecumenical and socially activist form of evangelical Christianity.
Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Utah, 2016) is edited with Kate Holbrook. A collection of essays that explores the experience of Mormon women from the founding of Mormonism to the present, the book incorporates a variety of perspectives: from historians to sociologists to personal essays.
Most recently, Bowman has published Christian: The Politics of a Word in America (Harvard, 2018), which explores the multiple ways Christianity in the United States has been mobilized in the political realm. It argues that often white Protestant Christians have linked Christianity to democracy and to “Western civilization,” while other groups have used Christian ideas and imagery to support very different visions of American society.