Royal W.F. Rhodes, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1979, teaches primarily the history of Christianity. His other interests include liberation theology, third world religious experience, monasticism (East and West), and religion and the arts.
His first book was Faith of Christians (Fortress Press, 1984), co-authored with the late A. Denis Baly. With co-author George McCarthy of the Sociology Department he has published Eclipse of Justice: Ethics, Economics, and the Lost Traditions of American Catholicism (Orbis, 1992), and they are completing another book on social justice movements in Ireland, Germany, and the U.S., entitled Justice Beyond Heaven. In 1995 he published The Lion and the Cross: Early Christianity in Victorian Novels (Ohio State University Press).
His current research and writing projects include a book on popular literary and visual images of the papacy (The Ultimate Pope), and a manuscript on the images of monks and nuns in popular fiction in the modern period (Disordering Love). In 1993 he received the Senior Cup at Kenyon, presented to the person who "had done most for the Senior Class and community," and in 1994 he was presented with the Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching. He traveled to Ireland and Greece in 1997 for research, and to Jerusalem in 1998 to prepare his course, "Millennial Centers of Christianity: Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem." In 2002 he became the first incumbent of the Donald L. Rogan Professorship in Religious Studies.
1979 — Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University
1971 — Bachelor of Divinity from Yale Divinity School
1968 — Bachelor of Arts from Fairfield University