Aaron from Kearns
Thought provoking. Wonderful breadth of topics and guests. Blair has a talent for asking good questions and his quick, clarifying summaries are helpful for the listener. The episodes leave me uplifted, pondering, and wanting to be and learn more.
Feeds my mind and spirit
This podcast is one of my favorite things. It is perhaps the single best manifestation of the idea that the glory of God is intelligence I’ve ever encountered. I love the balance of faith and reason and the open approach. I think it is an excellent blend of many virtues we sometimes see as oppositional: confidence and humility, faith and reason, scholarship and devotion. I’m deeply grateful for this work. I do have one complaint: I am almost done with all the back issues and wish there were more coming out more quickly! Blair does an excellent job. He prepares thoroughly and serve the conversations are able to be in form thoughtful but also accessible I also appreciate how interested he is in truly making the person and ideas being highlighted the focus.
Great for ANYONE interested in religious scholarship
Maxwell Institute is my all-time favorite podcast. I recommend it all the time to friends of my own (LDS) or other religious sects or denominations. Anyone who is interested in religious scholarship can enjoy, and learn from, this podcast.
Blair Hodges is an excellent interviewer who is extremely knowledgeable and respectful of all beliefs and religious traditions.
This is my one-stop shop for enlightening and educational religious conversation.
Great Podcasts, response to people with disabilities.
I enjoy the podcasts. I just finished listening to the one about the church community and disabilities. I am the mother of an autistic (among other diagnoses) adult daughter. As I listened to this I was struck by many of the statements/suggestions given by parents of disabled people which I did not see the same way as they did. Some of the things they characterized as offensive I didn’t see that way at all, in fact felt supportive. It felt to me like they were being quite demanding of certain behaviors by others. I think after hearing this I would steer clear of them or their children to avoid offending them and that would offend them too. If me, as a mother, do not always know what to say or do with my daughter, how can I expect less involved people to be totally correct. We all deserve grace.
Interviewer is excellent. He asks thought provoking questions and makes the interviews extremely interesting.
I have been listening to the Maxwell Institute Podcast for quite a while and the conversations are engaging and insightful. Blair Hodges is knowledgable and asks questions that bring depth to the interviews. And his voice is both soothing and compelling. An excellent host, top notch guests, and wonderful content.
Nate G M
I have recently started listening to the podcast and really like the episode on July 12 2019! Sometimes some of the episodes get further in historical details than I care for but I like the discussions they can have on the podcast:)
High high quality continues
It's been two years since I reviewed this series of podcasts and I continue to be very impressed with what Maxwell Institute is doing. This session with Tisa Wenger adds a dimension (or two) to Mormons' usual conception of religious freedom, here the politics and culture of religious freedom for practices/traditions of Native Americans. Wenger herself is very refreshing - very clear discourse from a Yale scholar. This is classic MI - a good topic and an edifying and enlightening interlocutor.
Even as a scholar (in training) of religious history, I find these terribly useful for getting a just-right overview of someone's position. That is, it's deeper than wikipedia (especially with the back-and-forth interplay), but not like reading a technical monograph.
Keep up the good work.
Good, but not dense enough
For me, there’s been some interesting content in this podcast, but it’s not much compared to the length of these podcasts. I haven’t found all the topics too interesting or all the commentary very stimulating, and the conversation format just doesn’t get to the meat of things quick enough for me.
Podcasts don’t get better than this
Interestingness of guests and topics vary a bit, but the moderators are truly gifted at developing each episode in inspiring, memorable, and enjoyable ways. Insights from them often make it from my run or commute into conversations at home, especially now that my wife is eating them up too. Thank you all for the work you put into this, and please keep them coming!
These podcasts offer refreshing perspectives and interesting insights from educated and thoughtful presenters. If you’re looking for honest dialogue about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this is a great source.
I've been impressed at how consistently Blair is able to engage the different guests on the show, so that the conversations about the different areas of guest expertise are in-depth and substantive (rather than just being surface-level discussions). Listening to an episode always feels like eavesdropping on a conversation between thoughtful and interesting people.
A wonderful production of discipleship and scholarship!
This podcast is a great use of my time as I go about my working days and evenings. The thing I miss most about my college years has been the high quality lectures which I would attend... but now I can enjoy that same level of thought and discussion through this podcast! My spiritual and intellectual enlightenment are aided greatly by these productions. Thank you!
The guests that are brought in and topics discussed are spectacular. This podcast is a gift, thank you.
Brilliant (with the right host)
I love this podcast. Never a dud episode...and then they played with the format and made sub-category episodes with different hosts. Terryl Givens is nails on the chalkboard radio. I realize he is well published, but his antics are juvenile and amateurish at best. “Let’s start by asking what your obituary to say about you?” It’s never shocking or provocative like he’s dreamed up in his mind. I conjure up images of Zach Galifianakis in “between two ferns” or “the Chris Farley show” on SNL. The guest are polite after an awkward pause and simply move through it. I can understand the allure of having a host with the writing pedigree he has, but he’s trying too hard and is always coming up short of Blair Hodges’s thoughtful professionalism.
The Warrior Inside
This podcast is exceptional for those who love the study of theology and the role of sacred texts - both within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and more generally. As a believer and scholar, I appreciate the honest and open dialogue on a host of issues. The discussions have challenged my thinking in way that elevates my understanding of spiritual truths. Blair Hodges line of questioning effectively draws out important points from each of his guests in a thoughtful and considerate way. Have listened to the first 15 and plan to complete them all. Please keep this going!
A terrific program
HI boy in TX
Blair Hodges does a wonderful job....great guests, informative, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Kudos also to Teryl Givens for his knowledge and insights
An interviewer plays a critical role in making an interview interesting. I commend Blair Hodge for his preparation and skill in bringing forth everything useful and significant from his interviewee. Every interview that I have listened to has been interesting, even when I have thought beforehand that the subject matter would be of no interest to me.
Blair is a great interviewer. Very well prepared. The authors he interviews are an eclectic mix both LDS and non-LDS but always believers. The only problem with the podcast is that my reading list keeps getting longer and longer. That's also a good thing because many of these books I never would have heard of much less read.
This is a great podcast. The variety of topics is fascinating, guests and host are incredibly knowledgeable, and it has expanded my understanding of my faith. I feel much more connected to my belief system due to this podcast!
A Crucial Dialogue
The tone and content of the dialogue here is enriching and inspiring. Thank you to the host and to the guests for your work.
Got Me Thru My Certainty Crisis
It’s been almost 7 years since I started having questions about church history which led to my black and white faith crumbling. Many don’t make it through in one piece to the other side, but I was lucky enough to find the Maxwell Institute — I had realized how little I truly knew about religion, even my own. This podcast helped me fill my spiritual bucket and connect me to Christ when that wasn’t always happening with me at church. I’m not an academic and it doesn’t condescend to me, yet it remains accessible, even if I have to stretch sometimes. Blair’s skills as an interviewer blow away every other religious podcast; so much insight in a small package on no rambling, thank heavens. So grateful for MI. I thank you and I can guarantee my nervous husband from 7 years ago thanks you as well. I recommend this podcast to as many people as I can.
Thought provoking, interesting with a perfect balance between scholarly insight and humble simplicity. Avoids the arrogance trap and the depth and breadth of topics is impressive. NEVER cancel this podcast, I don’t know what I’d do without it.
As a mother of 4 young and active children, these podcasts are a thrilling change of pace for me. They break me out of my normal routines and stale ways of thinking. I listen to them while I'm doing dishes, or making dinner, or going on my morning runs. Every time I listen, my mind is taken to new places and I see the world around me differently. Blair Hodges is a uniquely talented interviewer. He is eloquent, inclusive and insightful. He clearly knows the book and/or interviewee's work well, and yet still always makes sure to carefully bring the listener who may be less-informed along with him. I love the variety of fascinating people he gets on the show. These podcasts effectively provide both spiritual and intellectual nourishment. Thank you so much to all involved in making these podcasts a reality. Keep up the great work!
This podcast is smart, well done and thought provoking. The guests and conversations are fascinating. Blair Hodges totally reminds me of Guy Raz, the host of NPR's TED Radio Hour. Thank you for the great and important work you do!
MI podcast deals with our faith in the raw, messy, and complicated world in which it exists. A thought provoking, rather than sanitized, look into Mormonism that helps foster deep and lasting faith. My bookshelf is full of books and authors I heard about on the podcast. Not every episode is of interest to me, which is good and shows a healthy broadness of subject matter. Highly recommended, give it a listen.
Ogden to Boise
I’ve never been more eager for windshield time as I travel between Ogden and Boise. This podcast is as good as they come! Blair is the James Hetfield of Mormon Studies. Way to go Blair. Keep the good stuff coming.
Treat for the average Joe
This content is an excellent suplement to your regular gospel study. The Maxwell Institute Podcast team tackles topics pertinent to current LDS affairs with candor and clarity. Each episode brings a fresh perpective to the issues devout Latter-day Saints grapple with around the dinner table, with the added depth and experience flowing from the shows guests. Highly recommended.
Always worth listening
I generally don't listen to podcasts, but I make a point of listening to this one. Blair is an intelligent host who has clearly done his homework but also does a great job of making his guest (and their work) the star of the show. He brings the best out of them, and every episode offers a slightly different lens on the dynamic relationship of the life of the mind and the life of the spirit. This podcast is a model for the intellectual curiosity and generosity that "disciple-scholars" should seek to foster.
And having Adam Miller read his 1-star reviews was laugh-out-loud funny.
A valuable tool for any person of faith
I always keep up-to-date on the podcast and have had some of my most provocative and meaningful gospel conversations with friends and family begin with “did you catch the latest Maxwell institute podcast?”. I believe it’s a valuable tool for the educated person of faith who yearns for a slightly more complex, but thoughtful and edifying gospel-centered dialogue.
I really enjoy the podcast. I always feel like I learn something and broaden my perspective. It finds a great niche, not overly focused on apologetics and also maintains a great respect for faith.
a great place to come
to consider viewpoints & perspectives. Diverse topics and insightful perspectives, and very well done. Great questions and wonderful responses. Thanks Mr Hodges
A very fine podcast for LDS who like to learn new things and hear unique perspectives.
I’ve got a long commute and listen to a wide variety of podcasts. MI and especially Blair put out great episodes. They are thoughtful, well rounded, thought provoking and not afraid to push limits whilst being respectful. Well produced and entertaining all throughout.
This is so so GREAT! Thank you to the team that puts these together. So needed!
Blair has an intrusive incquisition about him that dares a decided people to remember how open minded they/we are. Love him. Good guy. He, blair will no doubt enlighten you and, uncomfortably, inspire you to make whole, poignant statements to be questioned and answered with a, “put you on the spot” type of surety.
Kirk Lester UT
I’m so grateful to have found the MI podcast. Ive found them intellectually engaging and faith promoting. I really appreciate the podcasts that cover more controversial topics such as evolution, climate change, plural marriage, race, and reading the biblical critically. Please do more on these topics. Also, I have a personal request that you get the Givens and Richard Bushman on here every other month, thanks!
Check your biases...
A new listener...
Was listening to brother Richard Bushman. This is what he said:
“Flourishing. These moments when you feel like there is something beautiful, [really] gorgeous and desirable beyond measure, some kind of intense goodness…And that if you just live in the right way, or manage your mind (what?!?), say some words or perform some actions, you can participate in that beautiful life. And I can’t find words for it. Christ calls it the Pearl of Great Price. Some people call it testimony. I think the experience Mormons have when they say they have a testimony when they are often moved to tears…their body transformed…it is close to what I am saying. It is the promise of something that is truly godly…that yearning to partake of that…is very strong, I can’t live without it, I can’t drop it. And it overshadows all sorts of other rational considerations about faith. Because anything that leads in the direction of that kind of wonder and beauty is very attractive to me.” --Richard Bushman
Let’s reduce what he is saying to a basic structure: I like the experience of Mormonism. I admit, I am desperate for it. So, I [often] ignore what makes sense. If anything confirms my position, that is attractive to me.
I am not inspired by this. An academic should hold himself to a higher standard. I respect his devotion, and his biases are understandable, but clearly and evidently that disposition overshadows all sorts of rational considerations in his writings. It is no wonder he left out so much in Rough Stone Rolling.
“When I live the Mormon way, that’s the kind of man I want to be…I’m a better husband, a better father. My scholarship is better. I’m just a better human being…” --Richard Bushman
Another way of reducing what he is saying here is: The Mormon Way gives me so much utility. My biases are justified in my scholarship.
I agree, Mormonism gives a lot of utility. I can say that honestly too, at least in my personal experience. Perhaps not everyone can. Perhaps not on a net basis. But I do not agree that his biases are justified or that they excuse his [evidently] intentional omissions. But that is precisely what to expect from an appeal to utility.
I think this is pretty telling why Bushman omitted so much in Rough Stone Rolling (which he has previously admitted). Part of his self-censorship is about tribalism (of course he doesn’t want to upset his position in the tribe by engaging in too much straight-talk). The irony here is that his bona-fide biases overshadow his scholarship and keep him from telling the whole story/truth/history, and yet he claims his scholarship is better because of these biases. I think brother Bushman is showing signs of being a little downstream of the cool-aid, here. You don’t get it both ways.
Imagine: When I give in to my cherished biases and only tell the less rational parts of the story, I am a better historian. Hmmm. Sounds like Bushman hasn’t spent enough time [recently] surrounded by skeptical thinkers. He is getting a lot of peer-esteem from the Mormon bubble. Perhaps he too is missing out on some critical feedback mechanisms and is drifting into delusion.
Substantial and Accessible
I look forward to every episode of this podcast: The guests range from the firmly planted in mainstream Mormonism, to those who find themselves estranged, to other who come from entirely different traditions. They are all fascinating and worth your time - no fluff here. Blair Hodges is one of the best interviewers I've ever heard! He holds his own with the guests, while occasionally pausing to comment and ensure that listeners are able to keep up.
Whenever my reading list starts to feel a bit anemic, I find myself scrolling through the guest list for ideas, and I always come away with something meaty.
Mind and Body
I can’t think of a better thing to do than exercise my physical body while listening to the Maxwell Institute Podcast. I’m just a little worried about running out of podcasts episodes before I’m done exercising; thus, I will lose the will to live... just kidding. Great jobs friends!
Spiritually uplifting; Blair is a great interviewer
I love listening to this podcast during my morning workouts; it gives me so much to think about every day. It is broadening my horizons and helping me to see scripture and daily life in new, creative, spiritually uplifting ways. I am especially impressed with how Blair interviews non-LDS authors; he does a great job of resisting the urge to hijack the authors' answers too much by telling them how Mormon doctrine or practice relates to their subject. Instead, he asks questions that will be of particular interest and relevance for a Mormon audience and lets the listeners draw connections on their own. I'm looking forward to future episodes. Keep up the great work!
What a treasure
I am an LDS listener. My education is not in religious scholarship. Consider myself a committed disciple of Jesus Christ. I have listened for about a year. Have listened to , I think, all of the broadcasts. Some more than once and where available, I have printed and reread the transcripts.
In many cases I have bought the books of the guests and read with great pleasure.
I have found these podcasts to be powerfully informative. I have discovered an increased , heartfelt, appreciation and some new understanding of scholars and followers of my own religious traditions and also the faith and traditions of others.
I have been grateful for the challenges to my own religious beliefs. These broadcasts have pushed me to read and think and pray.
My faith has grown. I have been given new windows through which I can view with gratitude my own religious life and beliefs and those of so many others.
I do not know personally Blair Hodges, but the respectful and probing questions he uses to guide these podcasts make him feel like a friend to myself and his guests.
These seems to this one old man, the very best kind of use of this powerful medium of communication.
Intellectual & interesting
I've thoroughly enjoyed the depth and variety of topics, as well as authors & guests that are presented on this podcast. It not only offers intellectual food for thought, but I find it interesting and not so "high browed". Plus I'm learning so much more about my own religion as well as the beliefs of many others. Occasionally I've not enjoyed a speaker, or sometimes the topic is less interesting, but for the most part, it is well done.
MIP always on point
Blair does a fantastic job interviewing brilliant scholars and practitioners while addressing contemporary issues in the LDS studies community.
This is one of my favorite podcasts. The interviewer is well versed about the questions he asks and those interviewed are intriguing and interesting. Solid podcast.
I've learned so much!
I've listened to almost every episode. I love the interviews and Blair is a great interviewer. I love it when he asks a question and the interviewee is a little surprised but then says what a great question it is and has to think about the response. I have so enjoyed the interviews with biblical scholars and other very knowledgeable people. I always like the unexpected personal stories the best. The stories that probably weren't planned but just somehow slide into the conversation and tell so much about the interviewee.
Informative, well done, not awkward, factual. I was looking for something like this, and glad I found it!
It is remarkable that something this good could have come from BYU. If you are interested in Mormonism, Mormon Studies, and Religious Studies, consider giving it a listen.
Expert Interviewer, Excellent Topics
I've listened to a dozen or so interviews, and my favorite part is the host, Blair Hodges, because he reads the entire book he's interviewing the person about, and has a deep subject matter knowledge. He shares insights, challeneges his guests, and helps bring understanding to the subject at hand. Blair Hodges is a class act and a marvelous podcaster.