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by Brian Kagel,Bryan Waterman

ePub The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at Byu download
Brian Kagel,Bryan Waterman
Signature Books; 1st Printing edition (December 15, 1998)
Christian Denominations & Sects
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Two BYU alumni, Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel, have written an interesting summary of controversial firings at BYU in the 1990s

Two BYU alumni, Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel, have written an interesting summary of controversial firings at BYU in the 1990s. While only Mormons, BYU alumni, or those with an interest in religious universities' battle with academic freedom will read this journalistic narrative, it is nonetheless an important expose of the way the Mormon church operates.

The Lord's University book. Repeatedly Brigham Young University (the Lord's University). Waterman and Kagel follow these volatile campus events for a ten-year period and place them within the historical context of greater American culture wars and religious change that have other campuses Repeatedly Brigham Young University (the "Lord's University") grabs headlines by censoring art, firing liberal faculty members, and insisting that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

-University of Chicago, 1981. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 213-233). October 1969 ยท The Journal of Higher Education. Freedom of the press in Indonesia in the 1970's /. Suparto.

Author Bryan Waterman Author Brian Kagel. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998. In recent years, the BYU community has wrestled with the question of the University's purpose and mission perhaps more than at any other time. Among the motivating factors for this recent introspection are the increasing profile of the Church and the University in the world, the growing diversity of BYU students and faculty, changes in society that draw Latter-day Saints ever farther from the mainstream of Western academic culture, and the ever-decreasing percentage of LDS students who can attend BYU.

Free fulltext PDF articles from hundreds of disciplines, all in one place. The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel. BYU Studies Quarterly, Dec 1999.

1999 ; Vol. 51. pp. 10-10.

Waterman, Bryan, and Brian Kagel. Waterman, Bryan, ed. The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999. The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1988. Westergren, Bruce . ed. From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995.

BRYAN WATERMAN and BRIAN KAGEL the lord s university freedom. and authority at BYU salt lake city signature books 1998 xii 453 pap. illustrations index 1919995. rreevvieiwleedd by kent P jackson professor of ancient scripture brigham young university.

If church-sponsored universities exist to instill faith in God and commitment to religion, then Brigham Young University deserves high marks. But in protecting the Lord s University from secularized morals, feminism, the emergence of an independent Mormon intellectual community, and the liberal side of American culture wars, the school has also defended its right to restrict free speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and due process for faculty and students. With cultural conservatives nationally, the school believes that its institutional right to religious liberty supercedes the individual freedom of conscience and inquiry that traditionally characterizes university life. In charting the struggle between academics and religion, authors Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel have assembled a vast archive of official documents and private interviews covering all sides of the issues. They chronicle day-to-day events administrative meetings, disciplinary hearings, student rallies, behind-the scenes faculty debates, private conversations, and P.R. posturing in a provocative history of two decades of turmoil at the nation s largest religious university.
  • The authors write in the Preface to this 1998 book, the book "is not, first of all, a comprehensive history of BYU. Nor is it even intended to be a comprehensive history of academic freedom controversies at the university. Rather, it is a chronicle of such events primarily from the last ten years---from 1988 to 1998." Later, they add, "BYU more than ever remains determined to deviate from contemporary academic models and preserve a safe place for Mormon education, even at the expense of outstanding faculty and national reputation... This book begins to tell that story." (Pg. 13)

    Here are some quotations from the book:

    "On a summer afternoon in 1993... a small nucleus of student activists... (staged) the first open protest over academic freedom at 'the Lord's university' since 1911... The student protest came in response to ... the firings of two controversial but popular faculty members: Cecilia Konchar Farr... who had reportedly upset church leaders ... with her pro-choice activism, and David Knowlton... who had critiqued the LDS's church's American image in South America..." (Pg. 1)
    "President Ernest L. Wilkinson, a John Birch Society devotee... launched... a student spy ring that enabled him to keep tabs on certain 'liberal' professors..." (Pg. 12)
    "From time to time, heated debates have gone public, as in 1911 when popular professors Ralph and William Chamberlin and Henry Peterson were dismissed or resigned for teaching organic evolution and higher biblical criticism, or seventy years later when tenured history professor D. Michael Quinn resigned..." (Pg. 177)
    "To liberal intellectuals... President (Ezra Taft) Benson's mental incapacity meant one thing: greater freedom for the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Boyd K. Packer, widely rumored to be behind the recent actions against liberals and feminists." (Pg. 268)
    "LDS General Authority Merrill ... Bateman's appointment (as BYU president)... caused concern... which verified to some that the BYU presidency had moved... from a position of representing the faculty to one of defending the board of trustees." (Pg. 373)
    "(The American Association of University Professors) voted to censure BYU, placing the school on a list... that have violated ideals of academic freedom or tenure... (BYU spokesman James) Gordon told reporters... 'BYU will maintain true to its intellectual and spiritual mission. If we abandoned that mission, there would be no reason for us to exist.'" (Pg. 446)

  • Two BYU alumni, Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel, have written an interesting summary of controversial firings at BYU in the 1990s. While only Mormons, BYU alumni, or those with an interest in religious universities' battle with academic freedom will read this journalistic narrative, it is nonetheless an important expose of the way the Mormon church operates.

    Cecilia Konchar Farr (now at St. Catherine's College in the Twin Cities), David Knowlton (independent writer), and Gail Turley Houston (Univerity of New Mexico) were fired under murky circumstances while the authors were students at BYU, and their unhappiness at the way these firings were organized and carried out prompted them to use the resources at their command to tell the professors' side of the story. They do so convincingly, and the reader gets a scary glimpse of the way the churchmen in Salt Lake City run the university.

    Also of interest is the way the BYU administration forced out Brian Evenson (now a successful novelist and on faculty at Brown) of the English department. Professor Steven Epperson and David P. Wright's (now Dept. Chair of Near Eastern Studies at Brandeis) mistreatment also gets a cogent explanation. Waterman and Kagel also give a brief history of feminism at BYU and a careful account of the September Six excommunications in the Mormon church. The book is well written, well documented, and even handed in its treatment of these unhappy events at BYU. The book is too long and repetitive--many characters have their full names mentioned dozens of times in the stories, and some of the main characters are briefly introduced in several chapters. On the flip side, these writers wanted to "state for the record" both sides of the firings so the reader can make her/his own conclusion regarding their fairness.

    The unavoidable conclusion is that BYU cannot be considered, at least in the present climate, a true center of higher learning. The General Authorities in Salt Lake City have the final say in what can and cannot be taught or published at BYU, and you risk being fired if you cross them. What is really puzzling after reading this book is why any of the professors mentioned would take a job at such an institution. Perhaps many LDS teachers at the school long to stay in Utah for family, social, or other reasons.

    For these professors and others who feel oppressed in their classrooms and writings, why do they stay loyal to the church directed by such leaders? The idea that the church is off course and that being a crusader will somehow be to your benefit is ill advised--they hold all the power, and you will lose every time. Waiting for them to excommunicate or fire you besmirches your name and stains your dignity. Why not leave the church and publicly give your reasons? It will do more to further your quest to encourage independent thinking, and you won't be part of an organization that tramples free thought and objective truth.

    BYU, these authors suggest, exists to shield students in their intellectually malleable years from truth in science, critical thinking, and scholarly debate. It will keep the church membership strong, so goes the reasoning. If a university exists that will punish you for declaring humans evolved from lower primates and that there was no universal flood, then it doesn't deserve the title of "university".