Brite Divinity School educates and inspires people to serve God's diverse world as leaders in churches, the academy, and public life.
Russell W. Dalton joined the faculty of Brite Divinity in the fall of 2004. Before coming to Brite he served as the G. Ernest Thomas Professor of Christianity and Communication at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and Director of United’s Master of Arts in Religious Communication degree program. An ordained American Baptist minister, Dalton served several congregations prior to pursuing doctoral studies. He serves as an officer and member of the steering committee of the Religious Education Association. Dr, Dalton is the author of Children’s Bibles in America: A Reception History of the Story of Noah in US Children’s Bibles, Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith, Faith Journey through Fantasy Lands: A Christian Dialogue with Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings and Video, Kids, and Christian Education, as well as numerous articles and essay. He has led a number of national and regional conferences and workshops in Christian Education, Theology and Film, and Religious Communication.
DegreesEd.D., Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, 1998
Th.M., Harvard Divinity School, 1990
M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1988
B.A., Central Michigan University, 1984
- Religious Education in Ministry
- Preparing to Do Justice: Religious Education for Advocacy and Action
- Youth Ministry in Context
- Faith and Film
- Children and the Bible
- Theological Perspectives on Harry Potter and Other Wizarding Worlds
- Teaching the Bible
- The Bible in the American Protestant Experience
- Children’s Bibles in America: A Reception History of the Story of Noah’s Ark in US Children’s Bibles. London: Bloomsbury/T & T Clark, 2015.
- Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Heroic Living in the Real World. St. Louis, Missouri, Chalice Press, 2011.
- Faith Journey through Fantasy Lands: A Christian Dialogue with Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings. Minneapolis: Augsburg-Fortress Press, 2003.
- Video, Kids, and Christian Education. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2001.
Journal Articles, Book Chapters and Book Reviews
- "Confronting Evil in the Wizarding World: Rowling’s Augustinian Novels vs. Kloves’s and Yates’s Manichaean Films" in The Theological World of Harry Potter, Taylor Ott and Shaun Brown, eds. Fortress Academic, forthcoming.
- “Preparing Congregations to Do Justice,” The Christian Citizen (September 10, 2018).
- “Children’s Bibles in the United States” in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America. Paul C. Guthjahr, ed. Oxford University Press, 2017, 19-38.
- “Emerging Trends in Christian Children’s Bibles in the United States” in The Bible in American Life. Philip Goff et. al. eds. Oxford University Press, 2017, 225-239.
- “(Un)Making Violence through Media Literacy and Theological Reflection: Manichaeism, Redemptive Violence, and Hollywood Films,” Religious Education. Volume 110, Issue 4, (2015): 395-408.
- “Meek and Mild: American Children’s Bibles’ Stories of Jesus as a Boy.” Religious Education. 109.1 Volume 109.2, 2014.
- “To Assemble or To Shrug: Power, Responsibility and Sacrifice in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers,” in Joss Whedon and Religion: Spiritual Insights from the Angry Atheist. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Press, 2013.
- “America’s Use of the Bible with Children: To Teach Justice or Maintain the Status Quo?” The Christian Citizen, September 2013.
- “Peter Jackson and the Temptations of Film at the Cracks of Doom,” in Light Beyond All Shadow: J.R.R. Tolkien and Religion, Paul Kerry, ed. Farleigh Dickenson University Press, 2011, 171-184.
- “Miraculous Readings: Using Fantasy Novels about Reading to Enhance the Reading of Sacred Texts,” Religious Education Volume 104, Number 4 (July-September 2009): 378-392.
- “Exploring U.S. Religious and Cultural History Through Children's Bibles”, TCU Faculty Favorite Lecture series, Fort Worth, TX November 13, 2019.
- “Horcruxes Not Hallows: Confronting Evil and the Use of Power In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, LeakyCon International Convention, Dallas, TX August 10, 2019.
- “Preparing Congregations for Ministries of Advocacy and Social Action” at the American Baptist Home Mission Society’s “Space for Grace 2018” biannual conference in Philadelphia, PA November 15, 2018.
- “The Children of the Bible as Taught to American Children,” presented to the Childhood Studies and Religion unit at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Boston, Mass., November 20, 2017.
- “The Children of the Bible Come to America: The Boys and Girls of the Bible as Presented to US Children,” presented to the Children in the Biblical World at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, Mass., November 18, 2017.
- “Manichaeism, Redemptive Violence and Hollywood Films: (Un)Making Violence through Media Literacy and Theological Reflection” presented at the annual meeting of the Religious Education Association, Chicago, November 8, 2014.
- “A Survey of the Children’s Bible throughout American History”, presented at the “Bible in American Life Conference” in Indianapolis sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University – Purdue University in Indianapolis, August 7, 2014.
- “Meek and Mild: American Children’s Bibles’ Stories of Jesus as a Boy.” Research Interest Group paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association and Association of Professors and Professional Researchers Religious Education in Atlanta, Georgia, November 2012.
- Lecture series at Miami University (Ohio) sponsored by the Interfaith Campus Ministries, including lectures, workshop, and small group conversations, March 17-19, 2012: “Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Heroic Living in the Real World” “Fantasy Stories and Confronting Evil” “Redemptive Violence and Popular Culture”
- Respondent to Mary Gordon’s plenary address on “Roots of Empathy” at the Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association and Association of Professors and Professional Researchers in Religious Education in Toronto. The meeting’s theme was “Brain Matters: Neuroscience, Creativity, and Diversity.” November 4-6, 2011.
- Lecture and panel discussion of Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, July 21-24, 2011.
- “Forming Theology through Options, Actions and Reflection,” Research Interest Group paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association and Association of Professors and Professional Researchers in Religious Education in Boston, Massachusetts, November 2009.
Religious Education Association
Board of Directors, A Memory Grows
American Academy of Religion
Society of Biblical Literature