Mormonism and the Movies

LDS Theology, Culture, and History in Dialogue with Film

Meet the authors and artists:


Brooke Parker Brooke is an educator, film enthusiast, and author.  She's collaborated with some of our contributing authors before, helping to put together live storytelling shows and other projects.  She studied film at Brigham Young University. For this book, she wrote “Mormons and Edited Movies,” an essay about the sociological, theological, and historical factors contributing to Utah's ever-present film-editing business.

Brooke Parker

Brooke is an educator, film enthusiast, and author.  She's collaborated with some of our contributing authors before, helping to put together live storytelling shows and other projects.  She studied film at Brigham Young University. For this book, she wrote “Mormons and Edited Movies,” an essay about the sociological, theological, and historical factors contributing to Utah's ever-present film-editing business.

Nigel Goodwin Nigel got his Bachelor’s in Psychology at Brigham Young University and is now a JD Candidate at Loyola Law School; also, he has toured as a musician in the band “The New Electric Sound.” His essay, “Choosing Substance Over Content: Film as a Catalyst for Empathy,” is about hesitations in Mormon culture concerning emotionally intimate/difficult films.

Nigel Goodwin

Nigel got his Bachelor’s in Psychology at Brigham Young University and is now a JD Candidate at Loyola Law School; also, he has toured as a musician in the band “The New Electric Sound.” His essay, “Choosing Substance Over Content: Film as a Catalyst for Empathy,” is about hesitations in Mormon culture concerning emotionally intimate/difficult films.

Jordan Kartchner Jordan is a writer, filmmaker, photographer, explorer, and co-owner of a small business.  He studied film at Brigham Young University and has directed several short films, including fiction, music video, and commercial.  He has contributed two essays to this book: “On Violence: An Introduction,” about why we so often tell such violent stories; and “To Transcend,” in which he develops an operational definition for transcendence as experienced through film.

Jordan Kartchner

Jordan is a writer, filmmaker, photographer, explorer, and co-owner of a small business.  He studied film at Brigham Young University and has directed several short films, including fiction, music video, and commercial.  He has contributed two essays to this book: “On Violence: An Introduction,” about why we so often tell such violent stories; and “To Transcend,” in which he develops an operational definition for transcendence as experienced through film.

Karli Hall Karli is an actress in Los Angeles, CA. She studied acting at Brigham Young University, and since then she's been involved in a variety of pro-ductions for the stage and screen; most recently she was in Rob Reiner’s Being Charlie (2015) and Gonzalo López-Gallego’s The Hollow Point, both released in 2015. Her essay, “Mormons and Acting,” is about the hermeneutics of performance.

Karli Hall

Karli is an actress in Los Angeles, CA. She studied acting at Brigham Young University, and since then she's been involved in a variety of pro-ductions for the stage and screen; most recently she was in Rob Reiner’s Being Charlie (2015) and Gonzalo López-Gallego’s The Hollow Point, both released in 2015. Her essay, “Mormons and Acting,” is about the hermeneutics of performance.

Preston Wittwer Preston is a graduate student instructor at Brigham Young University and has been a freelance writer and editor for a variety of projects. For this book, he wrote the essay “Worldbuilding and Building Worlds: Depictions of the Creation in Film,” in which he compares creation narratives from various films (like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Tree of Life, and Noah) with the LDS Temple.

Preston Wittwer

Preston is a graduate student instructor at Brigham Young University and has been a freelance writer and editor for a variety of projects. For this book, he wrote the essay “Worldbuilding and Building Worlds: Depictions of the Creation in Film,” in which he compares creation narratives from various films (like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Tree of Life, and Noah) with the LDS Temple.

Adam S. Miller Adam is a professor of philosophy at Collin College and the author of five books. He is the co-editor of a series of books for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University entitled “Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture” and serves as the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He has been interviewed about his academic work on public radio and a variety of podcasts. He blogs at “By Common Consent.” He participates regularly in regional, national, and international conferences that address religious themes. He has published more than twenty articles, reviews, and essays in a variety of journals and venues and delivered more than forty conference presentations since earning his doctorate in 2005. He was named “Best Essayist” in 2011 by the Association for Mormon Letters. His essay “Groundhog Day” is included in this book.

Adam S. Miller

Adam is a professor of philosophy at Collin College and the author of five books. He is the co-editor of a series of books for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University entitled “Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture” and serves as the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He has been interviewed about his academic work on public radio and a variety of podcasts. He blogs at “By Common Consent.” He participates regularly in regional, national, and international conferences that address religious themes. He has published more than twenty articles, reviews, and essays in a variety of journals and venues and delivered more than forty conference presentations since earning his doctorate in 2005. He was named “Best Essayist” in 2011 by the Association for Mormon Letters. His essay “Groundhog Day” is included in this book.

Derrick Clements Derrick is a journalist for The Daily Herald. Previously, he has developed and taught classes in podcasting and in English.  He also created “The Porch,” a live story-telling show, and “The Pixar Podcast,” an interview/news show.  He studied English Literature at Brigham Young University. Some of his writing, including a personal essay about his evolving relationship with Mormonism, has been published on “On Being.” His essay for this book is “Rated ‘R’ Movies and the Nature of Moral Authority,” in which he explores the question of how moral authority works and shares some personal stories.

Derrick Clements

Derrick is a journalist for The Daily Herald. Previously, he has developed and taught classes in podcasting and in English.  He also created “The Porch,” a live story-telling show, and “The Pixar Podcast,” an interview/news show.  He studied English Literature at Brigham Young University. Some of his writing, including a personal essay about his evolving relationship with Mormonism, has been published on “On Being.” His essay for this book is “Rated ‘R’ Movies and the Nature of Moral Authority,” in which he explores the question of how moral authority works and shares some personal stories.

Scott Parker Scott is a psychotherapist currently working with people who experience depression, addiction, and relationship issues in Salt Lake and Utah counties. After studying psychology and film at Brigham Young University, he received a master of social work degree from the University of Utah. His essay, "Bodies on Film: An LDS Ethic of Spectatorship," seeks to develop a framework for assessing the personal moral implications of viewing cinematic depictions of sex and violence.

Scott Parker

Scott is a psychotherapist currently working with people who experience depression, addiction, and relationship issues in Salt Lake and Utah counties. After studying psychology and film at Brigham Young University, he received a master of social work degree from the University of Utah. His essay, "Bodies on Film: An LDS Ethic of Spectatorship," seeks to develop a framework for assessing the personal moral implications of viewing cinematic depictions of sex and violence.

Chris Wei Chris studied Psychology and Philosophy at Brigham Young University and worked in mental health for five years before ultimately deciding to pursue a post-graduate academic career in Media Studies. He has taught High School classes on art, music, and film. He's the creator and chief editor of “Mormonism and the Movies,” and he wrote five essays for it: “Mutants, Monsters, Men, and Mormonism: A Study of Theosis in Film,” “On Violence: A Response,” “On Heaven, Hell, and Bill,” “Stories of Redemption and Damnation,” and “Three Approaches to Crisis.”

Chris Wei

Chris studied Psychology and Philosophy at Brigham Young University and worked in mental health for five years before ultimately deciding to pursue a post-graduate academic career in Media Studies. He has taught High School classes on art, music, and film. He's the creator and chief editor of “Mormonism and the Movies,” and he wrote five essays for it: “Mutants, Monsters, Men, and Mormonism: A Study of Theosis in Film,” “On Violence: A Response,” “On Heaven, Hell, and Bill,” “Stories of Redemption and Damnation,” and “Three Approaches to Crisis.”

Davey Morrison Dillard Davey is an independent film director, and a writer/editor at Far Between Project, LLC.  His most recent project is the “Adam & Eve” web series (adamandeveseries.com). He studied Media Arts at BYU, and he once published a collection of screenplays called “Out of the Mount” through Peculiar Pages, a publishing company that specializes in esoteric Mormon literature.  For this project, he wrote “Pan’s Labyrinth and the Sanctity of Disobedience,” in which he approaches Guillermo Del Toro’s 2006 fantasy-horror film from a theological perspective.

Davey Morrison Dillard

Davey is an independent film director, and a writer/editor at Far Between Project, LLC.  His most recent project is the “Adam & Eve” web series (adamandeveseries.com). He studied Media Arts at BYU, and he once published a collection of screenplays called “Out of the Mount” through Peculiar Pages, a publishing company that specializes in esoteric Mormon literature.  For this project, he wrote “Pan’s Labyrinth and the Sanctity of Disobedience,” in which he approaches Guillermo Del Toro’s 2006 fantasy-horror film from a theological perspective.

Anne Hart Anne is a medical student, musician, and artist; before deciding to go to med school, she went to BYU where she got a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities with an emphasis in Art History and Film) and a MA in Comparative Studies (Humanities—American Film Studies). She did a lot of design work for BYU International Cinema (one of the longest-running university foreign film programs in the United States), and she provided the art for the front cover of this book.

Anne Hart

Anne is a medical student, musician, and artist; before deciding to go to med school, she went to BYU where she got a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities with an emphasis in Art History and Film) and a MA in Comparative Studies (Humanities—American Film Studies). She did a lot of design work for BYU International Cinema (one of the longest-running university foreign film programs in the United States), and she provided the art for the front cover of this book.

Conor Hilton Conor is a graduate instructor and English MA student at Brigham Young University; he also regularly blogs about theology and philosophy, particularly from a Mormon perspective, and recently took on a project in which he watched a different film every day for 139 days in a row. His essay, “Jesus, Where’s the Joy?” is about the cultural and spiritual implications of the solemnity—and lack of joy—that’s so consistently found in cinematic depictions of Christ.

Conor Hilton

Conor is a graduate instructor and English MA student at Brigham Young University; he also regularly blogs about theology and philosophy, particularly from a Mormon perspective, and recently took on a project in which he watched a different film every day for 139 days in a row. His essay, “Jesus, Where’s the Joy?” is about the cultural and spiritual implications of the solemnity—and lack of joy—that’s so consistently found in cinematic depictions of Christ.

Barrett Burgin Barrett is a filmmaker and student at Brigham Young University. He recently wrote and directed a 35-minute film called The Next Door, which combined noir crime thriller elements with LDS missionary protagonists. His contribution to this book is the essay “No Man Knows Our History,” in which he argues for a new wave of LDS filmmaking and describes what it could look like and why it’s important.

Barrett Burgin

Barrett is a filmmaker and student at Brigham Young University. He recently wrote and directed a 35-minute film called The Next Door, which combined noir crime thriller elements with LDS missionary protagonists. His contribution to this book is the essay “No Man Knows Our History,” in which he argues for a new wave of LDS filmmaking and describes what it could look like and why it’s important.

Greg Soper Greg studied art at Snow College and Information Technology at Brigham Young University; he now works as a senior UX Designer at App Raptors. He provided all the art for the section headings in this book. You can find some of his art, design, and UX work at gregtsoper.com.

Greg Soper

Greg studied art at Snow College and Information Technology at Brigham Young University; he now works as a senior UX Designer at App Raptors. He provided all the art for the section headings in this book. You can find some of his art, design, and UX work at gregtsoper.com.

© 2017 Christopher M. Wei -- All Rights Reserved.