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Hugh Nibley Observed
The Influence of Hugh Nibley:
His Presence in the University
Robert K. Thomas

Robert K. Thomas

“The verbal bookkeeping that is often useful in presenting complex people is hopelessly ineffective in giving a balanced account of Hugh Nibley. To begin with, on which side of the ledger do we post his glorious absentmindedness? Dental appointments missed may be a liability, but a mind unfettered by circumstance is an asset most of us envy. What appear to be contradictions in others turn out to be complements in him: He is sui generis and therefore not subject to a normal audit.”

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


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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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