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
- Christian Education and Theology
- Christian Education of Children
- Christian Education of Youth
- Faith and Film
- Introduction to Ministry Studies
- Ministries of Advocacy and Action
- Teaching the Bible
- The Church's Educational Ministry
- The Pastor as Popular Culture Critic
- 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
- “(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.
- “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.
Recording Secretary, Religious Education Association
Board of Directors, A Memory Grows
American Academy of Religion
Society of Biblical Literature