Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Report from Utah - M. Mueller

My time in Utah is going well. I am living in Provo for six weeks near the campus of Brigham Young University, and participating in a religious studies seminar there. I am living with four young LDS women (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and going to LDS community events with them, so I am really getting the full immersion experience.

I recently started to come out as Wiccan to my classmates. I had some hesitation around it until I knew how things worked around here better. My classmates have gained my trust, and I feel comfortable coming out to them. I am still careful around the faculty and administration of the university. I am positive that my direct professor would have no objection, but I do not want any problems for myself if word gets out further. There are actually many similarities between Mormonism and Wicca, as far as being new religious movements, and I am noticing some connections between ways we talk about Joseph Smith and Gerald Gardner as far as history and "creation" or quasi-creation of a movement. The scholars in my seminar, because they understand Mormonism as a new religious movement, are less likely to be judgemental about a different new religious movement (Wicca).

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