Timothy Beal (Ph.D. Emory University) is the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University. He is also Director of h.lab and Co-leader, with Mark Turner, of the Data Science Across the College presidential initiative. In 2019, he was Interim Dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. Earlier he served as director (2003-07) and associate director (2002-03) of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.
Tim has published fifteen books, including The Book of Revelation: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2018), for which he won a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Other books include The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011; Mariner paperback, 2012), Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know (HarperOne, 2009; paperback, 2010; Audible.com audiobook, 2012), Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith (Beacon, 2005), which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s ten “Best Religion Books of 2005,” was one of Amazon.com’s “Top 10 Editors’ Picks” for Christianity in 2005, and was a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice.” He is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (also on oxfordbiblicalstudies.com), which was named the Best Print Reference in the Humanities for 2015 by Library Journal.
In addition to scholarly articles, Tim has written popular essays on religion, Bible, media, and culture for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Christian Century, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. Interviews with him have appeared on several radio and television shows, including All Things Considered (NPR), The Bob Edwards Show (NPR/XMRadio), On Point (NPR/WBUR Boston), Interfaith Voices (NPR), The Osgood File, Oregon Public Radio (OPB Portland), Ideastream’s public TV show, Ideas, Animal Planet, and Crooked Media’s Unholier than Thou. His books have been featured in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Dallas Morning News, The Orlando Sentinel, The Miami Herald, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Chicago Tribune, The St. Petersburg Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Denver Post, The New York Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, CNN.com, The Christian Century, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, and USA Today, among other online and print news media.
Since 2015, Tim has been working in the programming language of Python in order to carry out research in natural language processing and machine learning as they relate to religion and the academic humanities. This work with an ever-widening network of collaborators led to the creation of h.lab, which seeks to empower scholars and students in the humanities to experiment with and critically reflect on new and emerging computational tools and methods.
Tim was born in Hood River, Oregon and grew up near Anchorage, Alaska. He now lives between Cleveland, Ohio, where he works, and Denver, Colorado, where he lives with his wife, Clover Reuter Beal, co-lead pastor of Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church. Tim and Clover have two grown kids, Sophie and Seth.