In Lieu of History: Mormon Monuments and the Shaping of Memory

December 3, 2010

by Barry Laga
Members, new or not, do not find their identity among the ruins of the past as much as they contemporize the past, and this act of taking an event out of its historical context is an act of redemption. When we re-member, when we reattach a lost appendage, is not this act an act of redemption? Robert Cochran points out that “redemption is simply the present’s opportunity to ‘indicate’ the past in a way that places a claim on the future.” In other words, the moment we bring an event to the present or the future, we redeem it, or buy it back. We reclaim it. We recover it, we possess it once again.
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