Between Scylla and Charybdis : Championing Mormon Studies at Utah Valley State College
Salt Lake City, UT
Sunstone Education Foundation
Eugene England was instrumental in developing the Mormon studies program at UVSC. He believed that academic study of Mormon culture should be equated with other cultural programs, such as Jewish, Islamic, and African-American studies. He was successul in obtaining a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the development of such a program. He continued to participate in lectures, conferences, and discussions, organizing the first Mormon Studies Conference. The project generated a lot of discussion and controversy, especially following the 2000 Sunstone Symposium, where England's remarks on the study of racism in Mormon culture were taken out of context and publicized. Eventually the decision was made to include the program as part of the University's study of religious diversity. As England's health began to fail, he continued to participate fully in teaching his classes, directing his seminar, and activities for the ethics center. After his death, UVSC named the Mormon studies seminar in his honor, 'The Eugene England Religious Studies Lecture Series: Knowing Ourselves and Each Other.'