The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship has invited Professor Kathleen Flake to deliver the 2017 Neal A. Maxwell Lecture. She has chosen to speak on the topic:
“Learning By Study, Even Religious Studies”
Religious Studies often finds itself between equal and opposite skepticisms. On the one side are those who think it undermines scholarship through promotion of faith. On the other side are those equally convinced it undermines faith through scholarship. They both seem to agree, however, that the values of the academy and the church are incompatible and that the tools of each threaten the integrity of the other.
This is not a new conflict, but Mormonism’s formal entry into the fray is. In the last few years, professorships of Mormon Studies have been created in state and public research universities. This has led both sides to worry “What are we to make of this?” “What will they make of us?” From personal experience and with admitted loyalties to each side, Flake will consider both questions, emphasizing the benefit of Religious Studies to the faithful who “seek learning, even by study” (D&C 88:118).
Saturday, October 21
Brigham Young University
N. Eldon Tanner Building
Auditorium Room 151
About the Speaker
Kathleen Flake is the Richard L. Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies at the University of Virginia. Appointed to the Religious Studies faculty, she teaches courses in American religious history, with an emphasis on religious adaptation and the interaction of American religion and law. She is the author of The Politics of Religious Identity: the Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle. She has published in several scholarly journals and is on the editorial board of Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation and the Mormon Studies Review. Her current project is “Mormon Matriarchy, a Study of Gendered Power in Antebellum America.” Professor Flake has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, Lily Endowment, Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Philosophical Society. She has held office in the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion.