Mormon News, May 2–6

In the News

Spencer Fluhman was announced as the new executive director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. Fluhman, a BYU history professor, replacesscroll Gerald Bradford who is retiring this year. The Maxwell Institute, originally the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, has shifted its focus in the past four years under Bradford away from polemics and apologetics to academic and ecumenical work.

Senator Robert F. Bennett, a Mormon and Republican from Utah, passed away this week. Bennett was widely regarded as a statesman who championed public service and solutions over partisanship. Bennett also had deep family and social ties to the LDS community. Many noted the irony of his passing at the time Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination for US President. Bennett was ousted from his seat by Tea Party favorite Mike Lee in 2010.

Brian Birch, a philosophy professor at Utah Valley University, will be teaching a class this fall at the University of Utah on “The Intellectual Life of Mormonism.” In addition to being open to traditional students, the course will host lectures open to the public on Thursday evenings. Burch’s syllabus includes several titles from Signature Books.

At Signature Books

Congratulations to Signature Books publisher George D. Smith who received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from the University of Utah last night. George was honored for his influence in publishing in Utah, his many scholarly achievements, his work protecting women’s rights with the Jimmy Carter Center, and much more.

News update by John Hatch