The Rev'd Dr. Christopher Brittain

Dean of Divinity (on sabbatical until June 30, 2023); Margaret E. Fleck Chair in Anglican Studies; Master of Divinity (MDiv) Faculty Advisor; TRN191H1 Disaster & Terrorism
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 in the University of Toronto

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

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

Prof. Brittain researches relations within the global Anglican Communion, Contemporary Theology, 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 also engaged in qualitative field research in theology. As such, he is engaged with The Network for Ecclesiology and Ethnography, 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, Contemporary Theology 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.

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.

Recent Publications


  • The End of the Anglican Communion? The Crises of a Global Church. University Park:Penn State University Press.
  • Plague on Both Their Houses: Liberals vs Conservatives and the Divorce of the Episcopal Church USA. London: T&T Clark, 2015.
  • Religion at Ground Zero: Theological Responses to Times of Crisis. London: Continuum, 2011.
  • Adorno and Theology. London: T&T Clark, 2010.

Journal Articles and Chapters:

  • “Reshaping Offline Community in the Image of Online Experience: The Impact of Digital Media on Church Conflict in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh,” Ecclesial Practices 7.1 (2020), 48-66.
  • “Artificial Intelligence: Three Challenges to Theology,” Toronto Journal of Theology
  • “Anglican disputes over sexuality in the intersection of global power relations: accounts from African church leaders,” In: Sarah Page & Andrew Yip (eds) Intersecting Religion and Sexuality: Sociological Perspectives (Brill 2020).
  • ‘Racketeering in Religion: Adorno and Evangelical Support for Donald Trump’, Critical Research on Religion 6.3 (2018), 269–288.
  • ‘Partnership not Dialogue: Lent and Ramadan under the Same Roof,’ Ecclesial Practices 3.2 (2016), 190-209.
  • ‘A Religious Repair for Communicative Reason? Habermas’s Return to Religion & its Theological Reception,’ Toronto Journal of Theology 30.2 (2014), 171-190.
  • ‘On the Demonization and Fetishization of Choice in Christian Sexual Ethics,’ Studies in Christian Ethics 27.2 (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.

Forthcoming and Current Projects

  • “The Church, Migration and the Primacy of Motion: Beyond Hospitality,” The Church, Migration and Global (In)Difference (Palgrave)
  • “Donald Trump and the Stigmata of Democracy: Adorno and the Consolidation of a Religious Racket,” How to Critique Authoritarian Populism: Methodologies of the Frankfurt School (Brill)
  • “Karl Marx,” T&T Clark Handbook of Modern Theology
  • “Practical theology (Anglo-American),” The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Theology and Qualitative Research

Current Teaching

Holy Scripture and the Church
Justice and Reconciliation
Models of Mission in a Post-Christian Context
Race, Theology, and Diversity
Disaster and Terrorism: Religion and Ethics at Ground Zero Systematic
Theology in an Un-Systematic Age
Theology and Power: Method in Political Theology

Chris Brittain