Notes from an Amateur: A Disciple’s Life in the Academy

By John S. Tanner

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The word amateur derives from the Latin for “love.” An amateur is at root a lover—a lover of sport, science, art, and so forth. Tanner explains, “There is much to recommend the professional ethic, including rigor, methodology, high standards of review, and so forth. . . . Yet it is hoped that we also never cease to be amateurs in our professions—that is, passionate devotees of our disciplines.” This book gathers together brief messages entitled “Notes from an Amateur” that were periodically sent to the faculty at Brigham Young University by former academic vice president John S. Tanner. Tanner’s words reflect his years of experience as a scholar, an administrator, and a disciple, addressing with characteristic insight and wisdom an impressive range of topics from the seemingly mundane to the inspiring. This book is enhanced by the evocative art of Brian Kershisnik.