The Jews have a term, “tikkun olam,” which means “repairing the world.” It is both a statement of belief and a commitment to action by individual Jews to heal, repair and transform the world. Appropriating the concept and inspired by the Jewish passion for repairing the world, I have coined the term “Tikkun k’nessiah”—meaning repairing or healing the Church. We will explore the dimensions of what Tikkun k’nessiah may mean to those of us who are members of the Restored Church at this critical juncture in its history.
Thursday, April 2, 2015, 7:30-9:30 pm
Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT
Please come in the back door if you arrive late.
Robert A. 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). Bob served for a time as a Fulbright Professor of Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.
Bob 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, Bob and his wife became the first LDS Church missionaries to work in Lithuania since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Bob 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).
More recently, Bob co-authored (with Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University) Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children—hailed by many as the best resource for LDS parents and leaders with LGBT children and young people in their families and congregations. In addition to his writings on LGBT people and the Church, Bob is well known in the LDS community for his explorations of other LDS-related issues, from the Book of Mormon to a broad array of subjects relating to Mormon culture and religion. The former editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Bob continues to make significant contributions to Mormon scholarship in such journals and presses as Dialogue, Sunstone , The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University Press, Signature Books, and other venues.
For the past twenty years Bob has been active in humanitarian and interfaith work. Currently he serves on the Advisory Board of S.A.F.E. (Save African Families Enterprise), a non-profit organization providing antiviral drugs to HIV-positive pregnant women in Zimbabwe. He is a founding member and Vice-President of the Liahona Children’s Foundation, an organization that provides nutrition and education to children in the developing world. Currently he serves on the Board of the Marin Interfaith Council and as the Ward Mission Leader in the San Rafael II Ward.