Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
315: Between Mormon Thought and Mormon Authoritarianism: Brittney Hartley

315: Between Mormon Thought and Mormon Authoritarianism: Brittney Hartley

Photo Credit: Dimitris Pollatos@ Flickr. CC

Bringing a philosophical eye to Mormonism helped author Brittany Hartley to appreciate the beauty and potential of Mormon thought as she came into her own questions about her ongoing affiliation. 

Unfortunately, Mormon thought kept alive by generations of curious Mormon intellectuals, can’t quite compete with the heft of Mormon authoritarianism.   When push comes to shove, the church’s direction is often decided by edict rather than drawing on the traditions own philosophical and theological resources.

Where one stands in relation to this tension between the Big ‘C’ Church’s bent toward authoritarianism, and the small ‘c’ church’s concern for keeping the Mormon theological conversation expanding and emerging is where the heart of faith crisis lies.  

Brittney’s book ‘Mormon Philosophy Simplified’ is a philosophically accessible treatise that excavates the best of what Mormonism continues to offer while not being naive that most of it will ever make it to the pulpit or to the Ensign. 


  1. Kathryn C

    I’m siting in my car, listening to this episode, and I know I need to go in the house, but I am transfixed! You and Brittney are talking about ALL of the thoughts I’ve been having – all of the questions that have been in my heart and some that haven’t been formed into words, because I didn’t have anyone to speak them to. Thank you for addressing and discussing these things.

  2. winston tyau

    The discussion to what is a religion and what is a history of philosophy role in a genuine religion is high grounds if it is based on faith, by love and the truth of god the one that loves truth. the challenge of putting these concepts in a remote place as possible so that it can be chosen remotely what faith and other eternal realities in our long pursuit of truth really really is and can be recognized. So that we must make progress in our understanding of substance of faith itself, how much out is the recognition of genuine love and even more of the substance ideals is truth?

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