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Hugh Nibley Observed
Matthew Black and Mircea Eliade Meet Hugh Nibley
Gordon C. Thomasson

Gordon C. Thomasson

“I left BYU in 1968 after suffering, as a passenger, in six months’ time what normally would have been two fatal automobile accidents. Already having been admitted to University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor Nibley told me that if I came back to complete advanced degrees in religion at BYU he would never speak to me again, because I “would have nothing to say” (Hugh then made an explicitly pointed critique of academic inbreeding in BYU religion at the time). During the rest of my graduate studies elsewhere, I stayed in contact with him through various means, primarily because I still sporadically worked on Brigham Young materials we had researched together. My other responsibilities to him at BYU had included my subsequently continuing study and critiques of both Latter-day Saint apologetics for the Book of Mormon (a never-completed thesis) and of temple-related ritual texts across cultures and through world history. I also continued to follow his other research.”

Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article originally appeared in Hugh Nibley Observed, edited by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Shirley S. Ricks, and Stephen T. Whitlock. For more information, go to


To download this chapter in PDF format, click here.


About the Interpreter Foundation Book Chapter Reprint Series

The purpose of this reprint series is to make individual chapters from books published by The Interpreter Foundation more accessible to readers. Although in some instances the formatting and pagination may have been changed, the content of this chapter, like others in this reprint series, is identical to what appeared in its original book publication. It has not been updated to incorporate research that has appeared subsequently nor to reflect the current practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use the full name of the Church and to avoid terms such as “Mormon” and “LDS.”

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