But at the University of Utah, where half the students are Mormon and the strong majority are religious, the success of the enterprise to teach of religion (let alone Mormonism) from an academic vantage is sure to be constricted if it fails to make a plausible, comfortable space for inquiry among its natural constituents.  This in turn will require some building of bridges, some reaching out, some laying of groundwork for and to places like the Newman Center, the Hillel Center, and the LDS Institute of Religion.  A start has been made, but these good endeavors will need to grow strong roots if they are to overcome almost a century of mutual suspicion.This article was previously published at the Juvenile Instructor and is reprinted here with permission.

 

This article was previously published at the Juvenile Instructor and is reprinted here with permission.

Philip Barlow is the Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. Dr. Barlow has written Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991); as well as the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (Oxford, 2000, co-authored with Edwin Scott Gaustad); and with Mark Silk co-edited Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America's Common Denominator? (Alta Mira Press, 2004). He is past president of the Mormon History Association, 2005-2006.