By SUSAN COLTRI
Many professors and students want to know how their field of study is related to religion and what the prophets, apostles and others have said about it.
Fortunately, there is a service provided on the World Wide Web by the faculty center that can help. It is called the Education for Eternity Collection.
The address is: http://www.byu.edu/tmcbucs/fc/ee/ee.htm.
The collection, designed by Jane Birch, includes hundreds of references to and quotes from what faculty, students, general authorities, the scriptures and others have said on the subject of religion and education.
The first section contains literature that addresses the general relationship between the gospel and education. This includes references to many addresses concerning the role of BYU as a religious institution.
There are also quotes tied to most of the references. For example, you can find where President David O. McKay said that, “BYU is primarily a religious institution.”
The next section deals with discipline-specific literature. You can look up your major and find what has been said about it in a religious context.
“For example, a biology student may wonder what the prophets have said on the subject of biology that they should know about,” Birch said. “They can look under biology and find lots of references.”
This section also includes what people in the fields have said about the major. “These are really people’s attempts to relate their profession to what matters most: the gospel,” Birch said.
The third section contains biographies and case studies. “The biographies in this section are of individuals who have exemplified bringing together high professional standards and the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Birch said.
The last section includes other sources of literature.
Birch has been collecting material for years and has been working on the collection since August.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Birch said. “The truth of the gospel is delicious to me.”
Birch said a lot of professors may be scared to teach gospel principles in their classrooms because the scholarly aspect will decrease.
“This is not true,” she said. “It only makes the subject deeper. Truth is truth no matter where you find it.”
Todd A. Britsch, former academic vice president, agreed in a speech he delivered in August that is available in the collection.
He said that in a discussion with Benson scholars he found that they were disappointed that there was not more discussion of the gospel in nonreligious classes.
“We need feel no embarrassment about fulfilling our aim to be spiritually strengthening in all of our courses, ” he said. “Our students expect and desire it.”
“When I’d sign up for classes, I’d look for those professors who were talking about the gospel,” Birch said.
This is a resource not only to help faculty find the information they need to be able to discuss religion in class, but also for students who are looking to find more on their own