Timothy Beal, PhD, is the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He joined the Case Western Reserve faculty in 1999, andwas chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 2015 until he was appointed interim dean in 2019.
Beal’s university service includes stints on the College’s Executive Committee, the Faculty Senate, and the Common Reading committee. He has participated in multiple search and strategic planning committees. He also served as director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.
Beal earned his doctorate from Emory University and has published 14 books, most recently Revelation: A Biography, published with support from 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), 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), and Religion and Its Monsters (Routledge, 2001).
He is 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 Washington Post, CNN.com, The Christian Century, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.
Since 2015, Tim has developed a passion for natural language processing and machine learning as they relate to the academic humanities. He is collaborating with scholars on projects involving unsupervised machine learning and text generation (“bots”), neural machine translation (NMT), and Markov chain processes. Check out his @KJVBot (generates at tweets King James Version-like biblical verses based on the KJV Bible) and @EmilyMarkovson (a poetry bot that generates and tweets four line poems based on Emily Dickinson’s complete works).
Tim was born in Hood River, Oregon and grew up near Anchorage, Alaska. He now lives between Cleveland and Denver. He and his wife Clover have two grown kids, Sophie and Seth.