Heal and Davis advance from Institute administration to full-time faculty

03.01.2018 | The Maxwell Institute

The Maxwell Institute is pleased to announce the reclassification of Kristian Heal and Morgan Davis from administrative positions to faculty positions. Institute executive director J. Spencer Fluhman worked with Brigham Young University administration on these changes in order to allow Davis and Heal to pursue their own research at the Institute full-time. “We’re so excited to have Dr. Davis and Dr. Heal consecrate their scholarly gifts full-time here at the Institute,” Fluhman said. “Over the years they’ve ably served our erstwhile Middle Eastern Texts Initiative and our Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. But as the Institute becomes more of a gathering place to nurture disciple-scholars, we wanted to unlock their potential and redirect their efforts. I’m confident their research will bless their respective academic fields, and Latter-day Saints as well.”

Kristian Heal attends a recent Brown Bag session at the Maxwell Institute

For the past eighteen years, Dr. Kristian Heal has managed research projects and served as an editor and administrator—most notably as director of the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts from 2004 until its closure in 2016. He also served as the Institute’s associate director for 2017. Heal said he was thrilled with the new classification as full time faculty. “Becoming an Institute research fellow not only enables me to reorient myself fully to research and publication,” Heal said, “but it also allows me to join the wonderful community of dedicated researchers here at the Maxwell Institute. I could not be more grateful for this splendid opportunity, and am thrilled to be a full part of this community.”

Morgan Davis attends a recent Brown Bag session at the Maxwell Institute

Dr. Morgan Davis worked on the Institute’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative since its launch in 1993, serving as its managing director from 2010 to 2017 when it was transitioned to Brill, the Dutch international academic publisher founded in 1683 in Leiden, Netherlands. Davis says his past work with METI has set the stage for his future research as faculty: comparative study of Islam and Mormonism. “Over the centuries, Islamic civilization has produced a vast and rich literature as writers from many places and periods wrestled with questions of perennial significance to all of us,” Davis said. “Overseeing the work of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative has been a labor of love for me, making such literature more widely available than ever. Now I have the opportunity as a member of the Institute faculty to begin to open those same books that I helped to put on the shelf and begin to read them for the ideas and spiritual depths that they contain. To me, this is an adventure beyond compare. I consider it a sacred privilege to be able to devote the rest of my career to this beautiful task.” Davis and Heal join Carl Griffin, John Gee, and Spencer Fluhman as the Institute’s current core faculty.