Timothy K. Beal (born 1963) is a writer and scholar in the field of religious studies whose work explores matters of religion, media, and American culture, past and present. He is the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and Director of h.lab at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Earlier he served as Interim Dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences (2019) and as Director (2003-07) and Associate Director (2002-03) of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.
Beal was born in Hood River, Oregon and was raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He went to college at Seattle Pacific University where he earned a B.A. in English in 1986. He earned a Master of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary in 1991, and a Ph.D. in Religion and Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies at Emory University in 1995. Before joining the faculty of Case Western Reserve University, he was an assistant professor of religious studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (1994-1999). He has been visiting faculty at the Nida School for Translation Studies, the University of Denver, and the University of Glasgow. He is married to Clover Reuter Beal, a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). They have two children, Sophie and Seth.
He the recipient of a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2016) and the Baker-Nord Center Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Humanities (2019).
The Book of Revelation: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2018).
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Editor-in-Chief; Oxford University Press, 2015).
The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).
Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know (HarperOne, 2009).
Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith (Beacon, 2005).
Religion and Its Monsters (Routledge, 2002).
The Book of Hiding: Gender, Ethnicity, and Annihilation in Esther (Routledge, 1997);
Esther (Liturgical Press, 1999)
Theory for Religious Studies (co-authored with William E. Deal; Routledge, 2004)
Mel Gibson’s Bible: Religion, Popular Culture, and The Passion of the Christ (co-edited with Tod Linafelt; University of Chicago Press, 2006)
Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies: Identity and The Book (co-edited with David M. Gunn; Routledge, 1996)
God in the Fray: Essays in Honor of Walter Brueggemann (co-edited with Tod Linafelt; Fortress, 1998)
In addition to scholarly articles, Beal has published essays on religion and culture for magazines and newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has been featured on radio shows including NPR's All Things Considered and The Bob Edwards Show.
- “Timothy K. Beal,” Contemporary Authors (Thomson Gale, 2006)