Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
089:  The Life and Writings of Eugene England

089: The Life and Writings of Eugene England

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 10.57.30 AM“We must truly listen to each other, respecting our essential brotherhood and the courage of those who try to speak, however they may differ from us in professional standing or religious belief or moral vision. We must speak and listen patiently, with good humor, with real expectation, and our dialogue can serve both truth and charity.”  Eugene England 1966


Few Mormon intellectuals capture the oft painful paradoxes of the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as did Eugene England.   Born in Downey Idaho on the 22 July 1933 to Mormon wheat farmers George Eugene and Dora Rose Hartvigsen England, Gene, as he is known to friends and family, would create a unique intellectual legacy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints as an author, poet and essayist, the co-founder of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and the formation of the Association of Mormon Letters.


Eugene England described the idea Mormon scholar as “critical and innovative as his gifts from God require but conscious of and loyal to his own unique heritage and nurturing community and thus able to exercise those gifts without harm to others or himself.”


Welcome to this special episode about the life and writings of Eugene England with Jody Hansen England, Rebecca England, Mark England and Dan Wotherspoon.


  1. A Happy Hubby

    First – Thank you to all of Bro. England’s family sharing this for those of us too young to have known him.

    I love the story shared at about 30 minutes into it where Bro. England took a new couple and helped them take on more responsibilities in the church and how they grew from it.

    I also must admit that it really angered me to hear how Bruce R. McConkie slapped him in the face (repeatedly) just for saying “I have a thought” where he could have said, “Interesting, but I think that is not correct for the following reasons …” But you see Bro. England be the Christ-like person and turn the cheek. I can’t help but think that Bruce R. McConkie had to say, “oops” after he passed away.

    I did find that the switching to poems was a bit confusing for a bit. I didn’t know if it was Gina’s words (what I thought at first) or Brother England (which I assumed after a bit).

  2. Mary Shaver

    I am rarely speechless. Having said that, I can now go on to speak!

    This was absolutely beautiful to me. I listened to it a few times and then called my friend in Utah ( I live in Canada), and we listened to it together. What a wonderful and generous gift this has been.

    Gina, the way you gently folded in the background music, and quotes from Eugene England really added to the gift. Thank you for that.

    There are so many thoughts swirling around in my heart, but I can’t write them in this moment. Just a huge hug to all connected with this particular podcast.


    Mary Shaver

  3. Gina – I just finished listening to this outstanding podcast. Thank you for your work in producing it. Having had some experience as producer of the Dialogue podcasts, I can see that you put a tremendous amount of work into post production to smooth out the commentary, eliminate the “um’s” and “you-know’s,” pare out the marginally relevant portions, and add letters and other documentary material. Thank you so much; your work is certainly appreciated. Gene England will go down in history as not only a great Mormon intellect, but also a true disciple of Christ.

    1. Gina Colvin

      Thank you Morris. I appreciate that very much! Yes – it was a bit of a project but as I said to Jody, Mark and Rebecca, I felt like he was on my shoulder giving me directions!

  4. Jonathan Felt

    I have not experienced a better podcast ever. Perhaps it was due to the subject matter, but I believe it was as much to do with the editor which made my time listening a thorough delight. I loved Brother England before, but now I love him all the more powerfully through Ms Colvin’s interview of his family. Thank you a 1,000 times. I very much want to follow England’s example.

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