Prof. Christopher Brittain

Dean of Divinity; Margaret E. Fleck Chair in Anglican Studies; Master of Divinity (MDiv) Faculty Advisor; Instructor TRN321H1 - Selected Topics in Ethics, Society & Law; Acting Vice-Provost, Trinity College 2019-2020
Fellow of the College
Gerald Larkin Building: 15 Devonshire Pl, 3rd Floor, Room 314
Tel: 416-978-7750  87750

BA, University of New Brunswick

MDiv (honours), Trinity College, Toronto

PhD (Theology), St. Michael's College, Toronto

The Rev’d Dr. Christopher Brittain
Dean of Divinity and Margaret E. Fleck Chair in Anglican Studies

An alumnus of the Faculty, Professor Brittain returned to Trinity College in 2017 after serving as Professor of Social and Political Theology at the University of Aberdeen Scotland (2007-2017), and Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax (2002-2006). In 2016-17, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, and he remains an Honorary member of staff in Divinity at the University of Aberdeen.

Prof. Brittain researches relations within the global Anglican Communion, Interfaith Partnerships, and Theological Responses to Disaster and Terrorism. In addition he works on Political Theology and on the writings of the early Frankfurt School on religion and theology. He is currently developing a theological study of the concept of power, entitled Power and Powerlessness.

Prof. Brittain is engaged in qualitative field research in theology. As such, he is a member of the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network, and an alumnus of the Engaged Scholars Studying Congregations fellowship program. He is also on the editorial boards of the book series Studies in Critical Research on Religion (Brill) and of the journal Critical Research on Religion (Sage).

He is interested in supervising doctoral research projects in areas that include: Political Theology, Social Ethics, Church Conflict, Congregational Studies, Continental Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Disaster, and Anglican Theology.

Prof. Brittain is an ordained priest in the Anglican tradition with parish ministry experience, having served in three dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada, in the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and the Diocese of Europe. He is particularly interested in church outreach work with marginalized peoples, and in Christian Education.

Sample Publications

The Anglican Communion at a Crossroads: The Crisis of a Global Church(with Andrew McKinnon, Penn State University Press, 2018)

“Racketeering in Religion: Adorno and Evangelical Support for Donald Trump,” Critical Research on Religion 2018, 1-20

“Partnership Not Dialogue: Lent and Ramadan under the Same Roof,” Ecclesial Practices2 (2017), 190-209

“Love as Power and Powerlessness: Kierkegaard and Adorno Revisited,” Toronto Journal of Theology1 (2017)

A Plague on Both Their Houses: Liberal V.S. Conservative Christians and the Divorce of the Episcopal Church USA(T&T Clark, 2015)

“On the Demonization and Fetishization of Choice in Christian Sexual Ethics,” Studies in Christian Ethics2 (2014), 144-166

‘Why Ecclesiology cannot live by Doctrine Alone: a reply to John Webster’s “In the Society of God”.’, Ecclesial Practices, 1.1 (2014), 5-30

Religion at Ground Zero: Theological responses to times of crisis(Continuum, 2011)
Adorno and Theology(T&T Clark, 2010)

“Political Theology at a Standstill: Messianism in Adorno and Agamben,” Thesis Eleven1 (August 2010), 39-56

‘Confession Obsession? Core Doctrine and the Anxieties of Anglican Theology’, Anglican Theological Review4 (2008), 777-799

‘The ‘Secular’ as a Tragic Category: On Talal Asad, Religion and Representation’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 17.2 (2005), 149-165

Recent Presentations

Keynote, Ecclesiology and Ethnography conference, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg (6-8 June, 2018)

“Beyond Hospitality and Place: ecclesiology and the primacy of motion,” The Church and Migration: Global In-Difference?’ Ecclesial InvestigationsConference (Toronto, June 25-27, 2018)

Current Teaching

Church Conflict and Global Christianity
Critics and Defenders of Christian Theology
History of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology
Justice and Reconciliation
Religion at Ground Zero: Theological Responses to Times of Crisis
Systematic Theology
TSJ5021 Research and Scholarship

Personal Blog: Being and Lime

Twitter: @cc_brittain


Chris Brittain