|Title:||Associate Vice President - Engaged Learning|
Brian D. Birch
Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs - Engaged Learning
Religious Studies Program
Areas of Administrative
Office of Engaged Learning
Undergraduate & Graduate Research
Grants & Sponsored Programs
Academic Service Learning
Center for Global & Intercultural Engagement
Capitol Reef Field Station
Community & Continuing Education
Brian Birch is a graduate of the University of Utah with a bachelor's and master's degree in philosophy (1990, 1992). With interests in religious diversity and comparative studies, he completed a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Religion and Theology program at Claremont Graduate University (1998). His dissertation was directed by the late D.Z. Phillips and is entitled "The Limits of Pluralism and the Primacy of Practice: An Epistemological Inquiry into Religious Diversity."
Areas of Academic Specialization
Philosophy of Religion
Comparative Religious Studies
foundations of religious diversity
Comparative Christian thought
Ethics education with a focus on pluralism and civic engagement
Social dimensions of religious experience
Ethics and Values
Approaches to Religious Studies
Mormon Theology and the Christian Tradition
Mormonism in American History and Thought
Religion, Politics, and Public Policy
Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs - Engaged Learning (2010-present)
Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (interim, 2008-10)
Director, Religious Studies Program (2002-present)
Department Chair, Philosophy and Humanities (2003-06)
Associate Director, Center for the Study of Ethics (1999-2006)
Member, Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable
Executive Committee, EveryDay Learners (United Way of Utah County)
Executive Committee, 3Rs Project (Rights, Respect, Responsibility), Utah State Office of Education
What is Postmodernism? ed. with David R. Keller (Center for the Study of Ethics, 2003)
editor, Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (2005-present)
editor, Teaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum (2000-2005)
Articles, Reviews, and Book Contributions
“Faith Seeking Understanding: Mormon Atheology and the Question of Fideism” in Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology (Kofford Books, 2012)
"Turning the Devil Out of Doors: Mormonism and the Concept of Hell" in Hell and Its Afterlife (Ashgate Publishing Co., 2010)
"Theological Method and the Question of Truth: A Postliberal Approach to Mormon Doctrine and Practice," in Discourses in Mormon Theology: Theoretical Possibilities, ed. James M. McLachlan and Loyd Ericson (Greg Kofford Books, 2007)
and Friendly Fire: Examining Assumption in Contemporary Philosophy of
Religion," with Patrick N. Horn, Philosophical Investigations 31
"The CIA Leak Investigation: A Case Study" Teaching Ethics, 6:1 (Fall, 2005)
"Mormonism and War" Encyclopedia of Religion and War (Routledge, 2003)
Pending Publication Projects
Mormonism and Christian Thought (under contract with Oxford University Press)
Perspectives on Mormon Theology (series editor, under contract with Kofford Books)
“Institutionalizing Engaged Learning” Utah Campus Compact Faculty Retreat, February 9, 2013
“Dogma and Democracy: Religious Authority and Political Pluralism in the Twenty-First Century” UVU Conference by the Faculty, January, 2013
“The Good and the True: Religious Diversity and Theological Integrity," Foundation For Interreligious Diplomacy Conference, University of Southern California, June, 2010.
Defense of Methodological Anarchy” CMSSA Annual Conference, What is Mormon
Studies? Transdisciplinary Inquiries into an Emerging Field, Claremont Graduate
University, April, 2010
“Are Mormons Pelagians?” 2010 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Utah Valley University, April, 2010.
“The Awkwardness of Mormonism and its Place in Religious Studies,” Religious Studies Colloquium, University of Utah, September, 2009.
“Treasure Them Up: Providence, Pluralism, and the Plan of Salvation,” 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, May, 2009.
Contested Concept of Christian Identity,” Philosophy Colloquium, Utah Valley
University, November, 2008.
“Revelation and Doctrinal Authority,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago, Ill, October, 2008.
“On Being Christian: Doing Justice to the Tradition” 2008 Annual Meeting European Mormon Studies Association, Turku, Finland, August, 2008.
"Rethinking Atheology” 2008 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, University of Utah, April, 2008.
"Mormon Atheology and Its Implications for Teaching Mormon Studies," Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Mormon Studies Consultation, San Diego, CA, November, 2007.
"Mormonism and War," Interfaith Conference on War and Peace, Salt Lake City, Utah, October, 2007.
"The Ethics of Inclusion in a Homogenous Culture," Presidential Colloquium, Clemson University, April, 2007
"A Confessional Approach to Religious Diversity: Implications for Latter-day Saint Self-Understanding," Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Brigham Young University, March, 2007.
"D.Z. Phillips and His Critics: Remarks on Religion and Friendly Fire," Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy of Religion, Hilton Head, SC, February, 2007.
"An Analysis of Latter-day Saint Conceptions of Damnation," Hell and Its Afterlife: An International and Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Utah, October, 2006.
American Academy of Religion (Mormon Studies Consultation)
Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (Senior Research Fellow)
Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (Executive Committee)Links to Related Organizations and Projects
Religious Studies Program
Foundation for Religious Diplomacy
American Academy of Religion
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Utah 3Rs Project
Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology
Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable