I’m sure many of you are by now aware of what happened this past week at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. I don’t want to rehash everything again here (you can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here). Suffice it to say that I am extremely disappointed, deeply saddened, and frankly appalled at the actions of one M. Gerald Bradford, Executive Director of the Maxwell Institute, as well as others at the Institute (some unknown), most specifically for the unimaginably rude and utterly undeserved public firing of Daniel C. Peterson, Editor of the Mormon Studies Review (formerly the FARMS Review), who has served fervently and with untiring dedication for the past twenty-three years since its inaugural issue in 1989, as well as his entire team of associate editors, including Louis C. Midgley, George L. Mitton, Gregory L. Smith and Robert White (some of whom are out of the country and may still not even know yet that they’ve been summarily handed their coats). There aren’t words to describe how unprofessional, uncalled for, and how exquisitely ungrateful these actions are towards these devoted scholars, and the many other FARMS scholars who have been a part of the organization since 1979, and who in many ways have given their lives in sustaining and defending the kingdom of God. For that, this is the curt note they got.
One view that has been mentioned several times by those involved is how these inconceivable few days of events has in reality arrived as the exclamation point on a very long internal struggle at the Institute over the last decade in defining its core mission. That mission has consequently evolved in recent years. [Read more…]