The way something is classified carries significant consequences for how it’s perceived. Such is the case with the rise of Mormon intellectualism and the desire among some to have it be seen as a “community” rather than a “movement.” In this presentation, I argue that debates over such things are now pointless: those who would/do oppose intellectualism’s influence on Mormonism already consider it a movement and have taken measures to reduce its influence. Using a model based on studies of political processes and social movements, I highlight similarities between Mormon intellectualism and other social movements. In so doing, I intend to describe more than prescribe, but those interested in transforming Mormon intellectualism in such a way that it might take less heat will likely find profitable ideas swirling throughout the presentation.

Ryan Cragun