Legal Scholarship and Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints : Have They Buried Both an Honest Man and a Law Professor in the Same Grave?
Brigham Young University Law Review
Brigham Young University
The hesitation on the part of LDS academics to derive their scholarly agenda out of their religious beliefs or to apply critical scholarly methods to fundamental gospel tenets raises a host of challenges. Four possible problems that it creates for LDS members as scholars are: 1. the inevitability of strong biases, 2. uncertainty in the method and advisability of bringing spiritual values into the academic realm, 3. failure to remember, and 4. choice of topics. It does matter that scholars are LDS and academics at the same time. It may matter a great deal in the selection of their topics for research, in the way inquiry is framed, and in the principles they test against their empirical and logical analysis. At the same time, it takes a conscious - and courageous - effort to link their professional and religious selves. It is not a task for the fainthearted.