Mormon men and women, though, are "far more likely to endorse a traditionalist perspective on women and the workforce," he said.
Campbell was one of only two men among a dozen speakers at a one-day conference, titled "Women and the LDS Church."
The conference was organized by Kate Holbrook, women-studies specialist at the LDS Church History Department, and Matthew Bowman, who teaches history at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. It was sponsored by the U.'s Tanner Center for Humanities, along with the LDS Church, Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University and Utah State University.
The extraordinary collaboration brought together LDS and other scholars to discuss the issue of Mormon women and their choices. In essence, all the speakers considered how women who belong to a religious institution with clearly delineated gender roles could exercise agency. Susanna Morrill, who teaches religious studies at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Ore., discussed how 19th-century views of a Heavenly Mother set the stage for modern understanding of the divine feminine.
Holbrook described the work of Aurelia Rogers, who came up with the idea of Primary, a program for Mormon children that she believed came to her from God.
Quincy Newell of the University of Wyoming laid out details from the life of Jane Manning James, an early black convert and her decision to stay within the Mormon faith, though she was repeatedly denied access to LDS temple ceremonies.
Other speakers took on the questions of contemporary Mormon women how to be more involved, bring about policy changes without disputing doctrine, and how to change the conversation around female sexuality.
The final panel addressed the differences between American Mormon women and those in other countries, including Africa and Europe.
Mary Farrell Bednarowski, a Catholic feminist in Minneapolis, spoke eloquently about the similar problems faced by women in "male-dominated, hierarchical religious institutions."
Bednarowski said that it is worth asking feminist questions because "they open up the depth and breadth of our traditions, testifying that there is living water in the well."
Quoting another author, the Catholic writer said, "A tradition does not have to be infinitely dear. It has only to be inexhaustible."