Discussion Series Lecture by Professor Gary Doxey on Thomas More

Professor Gary B. Doxey delivered the third lecture in the 2012 Religious Freedom Discussion Series,  on Wednesday, 13 June 2012, at Brigham Young University Law School. The subject of Professor Doxey’s lecture was “Sir Thomas More and Religious Liberty.” An audio recording of the lecture, as well as the PowerPoint Presentation accompanying it, are available at the links below.

Professor Doxey – historian, attorney, administrator, and Church leader – serves as Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Latin America, as well as chair of the development committee, of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He also teaches in the History Department at Brigham Young University. He chose for his Discussion Series topic this year a man who has been described as “the most brilliant lawyer of his generation” and “the greatest historical character in English history.”

Thomas More (1478-1535) has become a symbol of freedom of conscience, a man who without disloyalty or malice toward his king preferred to suffer execution rather than take an oath contrary to his convictions. Taking nothing away from the moral lessons they teach, accounts about More’s life are problematic. A careful reconstruction of the “historical More” is difficult, given the propagandistic nature of the early biographies and the generous layers of gloss and spin they have acquired in succeeding generations. The “man for all seasons” has become thoroughly adaptable as a hero of almost any ideological cause. Professor Doxey’s discussion will attempt a perspective of Thomas More’s career in the historical context – the revolutionary times in which he lived – and seek meaning pertaining to the development of religious freedom.

Professor Doxey is former Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He rejoined Center as Associate Director in 2009 after three years serving as president of the Mexico City South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In April 2011 he was called as an Area Seventy of the Church.

Before joining the law school, Professor Doxey served under Governor Olene S. Walker of Utah as chief of staff – the state’s top appointed official, head of the cabinet, and chief operating officer of the executive branch. Prior to that, he served six years as general counsel to Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt. Professor Doxey has spent much of his career in Utah state government, serving as deputy commissioner of financial institutions and as associate general counsel to the Utah Legislature.

In addition to teaching history at Brigham Young University, Professor Doxey has also taught at the University of Utah. He spent his early legal career as a commercial law practitioner and was a judicial clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. He has a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and a J.D. from BYU. He speaks or reads several languages and is the author of many scholarly publications.