“Is Mormon Studies Possible at a Mormon University?”

 

 

On the campus of Claremont Graduate University

 

The statue of Brigham Young
on the campus of
Brigham Young University

 

A very thoughtful article elsewhere on Patheos:

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2013/04/is-mormon-studies-possible-at-a-mormon-university/

 

(Not, of course, that that’s a first.)

 

 

  • LBRussell

    Is Woman Studies possible at Vassar??? I mean, given its history? Or Black Studies at Morehouse?

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    It has only been in the last couple of decades that more than one or two scholars outside of BYU could justify studying any aspect of Mormons and Mormonism in light of the normal academic institution’s demands to “publish or perish” in venues and topic areas that met the institution’s expectations for enhancing the reputation of the faculty among its peers. A Mormon Studies program requires funding, institutional support, and individual scholars who have an interest in some aspect of Mormon history, culture, sociology, organization and group dynamics, politics, or theology. Getting all three OUTSIDE of BYU is still a real achievement, as is made clear in the description by Armand Mauss of the Claremont Graduate Schools program in hs new memoire.

    As I noted in my comment on the linked blog, asking this kind of question about “Japanese studies” shows how silly it is. Hopefully people who are not Japanese can see the value in studying aspects of Japan and its people, but often the funding to support academic chairs in that field are supplied by Japanese entities, as in the Columbia University Law School Japanese Law program established by Mike Young (former LDS missionary in Japan, former Univ of Utah prez, and now prez of Univ of Washington). As Mormons ascend to rank 3rd largest denomination in the US, and continue to grow worldwide, it should induce both Mormons and non-Mormons to seek better understanding of everything about Mormonism, so it can support understanding in the wider society.


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