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American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940 $
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Thomas W. Simpson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628639

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628639.001.0001

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Anti-intellectualism Rejected and Reborn, 1920–1940

Anti-intellectualism Rejected and Reborn, 1920–1940

(p.92) 4 Anti-intellectualism Rejected and Reborn, 1920–1940
American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940 

Thomas W. Simpson

University of North Carolina Press

Mormon intellectual life suffered acutely in the wake of turmoil at Brigham Young University in 1911, but less than a decade later, major changes in church leadership and educational policy would help stimulate renewal. At the same time, Mormon scholars began gravitating to new disciplines like history, sociology, and the academic study of religion. A number of these students would become scholarly authorities on the Mormon community and the Mormon past. The students' epistemology, which placed supreme value on documentary and statistical evidence, was bound eventually to clash with that of theologically conservative church authorities, who exalted the private tutorings of the spirit. J. Reuben Clark Jr., a member of the LDS First Presidency, was the most forceful critic of Mormon scholars who, in his mind, threatened to lead Mormon youth astray. His 1938 "Charted Course of the Church in Education" remains a profoundly influential statement, and warning, about the "fundamentals" of church teaching and education.

Keywords:   Mormonism, Mormon History, Higher Education, Mormon Education, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Religion and Science, Religious Authority, Academic Freedom, Anti-Intellectualism

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