Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Dialogue: Vol 15 No 3
The Reconciliation of Faith and Science: Henry Eyring's Achievement
Steven H. Heath The Reconciliation of Faith and Science: Henry Eyring's Achievement Few men in Mormon history have exemplified the unity of science and religion better than Henry Eyring. A devout student of science for over sixty years, a brilliant chemist who was internationally renowned, and at the same time a faithful believer, he exemplified the crucial possibility of being in the world but not of it for three decades. Despite his towering scientific achievements, he may yet be remembered in Mormon history as a model for LDS scientists — and for the well-educated Mormon generally — who wanted to stay happily and productively in the Church's mainstream. As Edward L. Kimball has noted in his biographical paper, "Harvey Fletcher and Henry Eyring: Mormon Scientists" (this issue), this ability began with a strong grounding in fundamental beliefs in committed Mormon homes, continued with a personality that accepted these tenets, invested primary energy in service and professionalism, and concluded with the fortunate circumstance that the Church could and did use this combination of personal and professional skills in prominent and well-rewarded places. Where Henry Eyring was concerned, however, the ability to keep a foot firmly planted in both the scientific and the religious camps was buttressed by a determination to keep both camps equally legitimate, an important attitude at a time when science was seen as the enemy of faith in some quarters and when the possibility of withdrawal into primitive fundamentalism at least showed itself on the horizon. In 1946, fresh from his triumphs at Princeton, Eyring came to the University of Utah as dean of the Graduate School. He brought remarkable strength to the university, and as one colleague put it, "was the single most important person in transforming Utah into a research institution." x When Eyring moved to Utah in 1946, he was virtually unknown among members of the Mormon Church except for family, some friends, and a few Mormon scientists. Within three years of his coming, he had won the respect and admiration of thousands within the Church. Within months, he had been appointed a member of the Sunday School general board, received such honors STEVEN H. HEATH is chairman of the Department of Physical Science at Southern Utah State College in Cedar City, Utah, where he is associate professor of mathematics. This paper comes from his master's thesis at the University of Utah in 1980 on Henry Eyring. Coauthor with Reed C. Durham, Jr., of Succession in the Church (Bookcraft, 1970), he is a member of the Cedar City Utah West Stake High Council.