EUGENE ENGLAND. Dialogues with Myself. Midvale, Utah: Orion Books, 1984.
EUGENE ENGLAND. Why the Church Is as True as the Gospel. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1986.
Eugene England is a well-known figure in contemporary Mormon intellectual circles. He has influenced a generation of young people, and his voice has been increasingly heard. These two volumes of collected works show a consistent, if developing, voice, over a twenty-year period, that speaks for devotion, tolerance, openness, and endurance.
Who is he? England began in the wheat fields of Idaho and became, somehow, a professor of literature. He is a sixties liberal who is a convinced Christian, a strong believer in the Mormon message and its saving power who has synthesized those seemingly contradictory styles and writes about the tension of that life. He may have been the first “sensitive” Mormon man, willing to give women more than a fair shake and known to weep from time to time. He is a great confessor who opens his life and heart to others and encourages reciprocation. Though buffeted by the slings and arrows of critics and officials who have not particularly appreciated his style, and despite the fact that his world view is basically tragic, he maintains a boyish cheerfulness and has not fallen victim to the bitterness that afflicts other liberal Mormons when the Church has not “come around.”