Robert A. Rees

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Robert A. Rees (born November 17, 1935)[1] is an educator, scholar and poet. Beginning in 1998 he was Director of Education and Humanities at the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, California. He currently teaches Mormon Studies at both the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley.


Rees received his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was for many years a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was also a bishop of the Los Angeles 1st Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Rees served for a time as a Fulbright Professor of Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.

Rees and his wife Ruth served as education, humanitarian, and service missionaries in the Saint Petersburg, Russia and Baltic States Missions of the LDS Church. In October 1992, Rees and his wife became the first LDS Church missionaries to work in Lithuania since the fall of the Soviet Union.[2][3]

Rees has taught at a number of universities, including the University of Wisconsin, UCLA (for twenty-five years), UC Santa Cruz, Vytautaus Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania), and California State Universities at Northridge and Los Angeles. Recently he held the position of visiting scholar at the Centers for Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University (1994-95). Currently he teaches religion at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

He established and was the Director of Studies for three UCLA Extension programs in England, with Cambridge University and with the Royal Colleges of Art and Music. Between 1992-1996, Rees was a visiting professor of American Literature at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he also served as a Fulbright Professor of American Studies (1995-96).


He was the second editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought from 1971 to 1976.


Following are some of Robert Rees' publications.

Mormon studies[edit]

  • "Teaching Mormon Studies at a School of Theology and a Public University", in Mormon Studies Review Vol. 2, 2015, p. 33-41.
  • Glenn Beck: Rough Stone Roaring,” Sunstone No. 159 (June 2010), 9-27.
  • “Toward a Mormon Feminist Midrash: The Prodigal Daughter and Other Imaginative Readings of Scripture,” Sunstone Symposium, 2009; submitted to Sunstone
  • “The Midrashic Imagination and the Book of Mormon,” forthcoming from Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
  • Pillars of My Faith, editor. a collection of personal essays on faith (in preparation), to be published by Signature Books.
  • New Harvest: Contemporary Mormon Poetry, editor, with Joanna Brooks (in preparation), to be published by Signature Books.
  • “Alma the Younger’s Seminal Sermon at Zarahemla,” in Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
  • “How Mormons Could Help End the Genocide in Darfur,” Sunstone 152 (Dec. 2008), 26-29.
  • “The Goodness of the Church,” Dialogue 41:1 (Summer 2008) 162-173.
  • The Reader’s Book of Mormon, co-ed. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2008).
  • “Mormons and the Cross,” Sunstone Symposium, 2007.
  • “The Cost of Credulity: Mormon Urban Legends and the War on Terror,” Sunstone 144 (Dec. 2006).
  • “The Book of Mormon and Automatic Writing,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 15:1 (2006), 4-17, 68-70.
  • “‘Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?’ The Challenges of Discipleship and Church Membership,” Dialogue (fall 2006), 103-114.
  • “An Open Letter to Nathan Oman,” Dialogue, 39:2 (Summer 2006), 173-177.
  • “The Possibilities of Dialogue,” Dialogue 39:2 (Summer 2006), 97-99.
  • “Seeing Joseph Smith: The Changing Image of the Mormon Prophet,” Sunstone 140 (December 2005), 18-27.
  • “Introduction,” Proving Contraries: A Collection of Writings in Honor of Eugene England, ed. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2005), xiii-xx.
  • “Why Mormons Should Celebrate Holy Week,” Dialogue 37:3 (Fall 2004), 151-167.
  • “America’s War on Terrorism: One Latter-day Saint’s Perspective,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 36:1 (Spring 2003), 11-32.
  • “Irony in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies (fall 2003), 20-31
  • “Joseph Smith and the American Renaissance,” Dialogue 35:3 (Fall 2002), 83-112.
  • “Forgiving the Church and Loving the Saints: Spiritual Evolution and the Kingdom of God” Sunstone 16:1 (February 1992), 18-27.
  • “Monologues and Dialogues: A Personal Perspective” Dialogue 20:2 (Summer 1987)
  • “Ammon,” in The Book of Mormon: It Begins with A Family (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 79-89.
  • “‘Cooperating in Works of the Spirit’: Notes Toward a Higher Dialogue” Dialogue 11:1 (Spring 1978), 13-17.
  • “The Possibilities of Dialogue” Dialogue 9:3 (Autumn 1974)
  • “The Gospel, Mormonism and American Culture” Dialogue 8:2 (Summer 1973)
  • “A Continuing Dialogue” Dialogue 6:1 (Spring 1971)
  • “’Truth is the Daughter of Time’: Notes toward an Imaginative Mormon History,” Dialogue 4:3/4 (1971), 15-22.
  • “Articles and Essays in Mormon Studies” Dialogue 1:4 (Winter 1966)
  • Melville's Alma and the Book of Mormon," Emerson Society Quarterly, No. 43 (II Quarter 1966), 41 46.


  • “Wedding Flower,” Dialogue 40:2 (fall 2007)
  • “Black Handkerchief,” 40:2 Dialogue (fall 2007)
  • “Gene at Wilder Beach,” Proving Contraries: A Collection of Writings in Honor of Eugene England, ed. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2005), xi.
  • “El Cordero de Dios,” Dialogue 38:2 (Summer 2005), 186-87.
  • “Baptism,” Dialogue 38:2 (Summer 2005), 188.
  • “Heart Mountain,” Dialogue, 37:3 (Fall 2004), 138-39.
  • “Blind Tears,” Dialogue 37:3 (Fall 2004), 168-171.
  • “The Cedars of Lebanon,” Dialogue, 37:1 (Spring 2004)
  • “Yellow Crane Tower,” “Spring Comes to the Ming Tombs,” “Liu Shahe,” and “Tai Chi in Xian”—in Kenneth Lincoln, A Writer’s China (Capra Press, April 1999)
  • “Hearing the Han Shan Bell,” Lithuanian Association of North American Studies, 1 (1996), 30-33.
  • "At St. Bartholomew the Great," Wasatch Review, 1993.
  • "The Creatures We Kill," West/Word, Fall 1992.
  • "Modern Poetry," Onthebus, Winter 1990.
  • "Salamander," Sunstone, August 1989.
  • "Fishers," Dialogue, January 1984. Named outstanding poem for 1984 by the Association of Mormon Letters. Reprinted in Final Harvest (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989)
  • "The Dancing Beggar of London," BYU Studies, Spring 1984.
  • "Once at La Jolla," Sunstone, 1984.
  • "In St. Paul's Cathedral," BYU Studies, Spring 1982.
  • "Gilead," Sunstone, Jan. Feb. 1981. Awarded prize for Best Poem by the Association of Mormon Letters. Reprinted in Final Harvest.
  • "Somewhere Near Palmyra," Dialogue, Fall 1980. Reprinted in Final Harvest.


  • Producer, "The Golden Angel Over the City," a documentary film for Lithuanian State Television. Aired 18 February 1996.
  • Producer, Director and Writer, "Spires to the Sun: Sabatino Rodia's Towers in Watts." A documentary film sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities which had its premier showing on Public Television Station KCET on 10 May 1992. Also shown on TELE-3, Lithuania, March 1993.
  • Writer (with Ken Kemp) of a script entitled "Crucifixion of Innocents: The Life and Death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer." Optioned by Artemis Films.
  • Writer (with Ken Kemp) of an original screenplay entitled "A Perfect World.”
  • Writer (with Raphael La Rosa) of a script, "Sabatino Rodia: the Artist Nobody Knows," for KCET Public Television.
  • Executive Producer, "I Hear Tell: Storytelling in American Cultures," a projected documentary film on storytelling, funded through the planning and script development phases by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Designer, writer, and editor of a tele-course on the American Short Story, produced by Coastline Community College.


  1. ^ Birth year is listed from Rees' United States copyright registration for the 2005 book Proving Contraries. See registration number TX0006309104 at
  2. ^ 2007 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2006) s.v. "Lithuania".
  3. ^ "Lithuania – LDS Newsroom",, accessed 2009-09-15.