Jeffrey Burton Russell
|Born||1934 (age 85–86)|
|Education||PhD (Emory University)|
|Employer||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|Known for||Professor of Medieval History|
|Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages, History of Medieval Christianity, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History, A History of Heaven|
|Pamela Russell, Diana Mansfield Russell (deceased)|
|Children||Jennifer Ellen Russell, Mark Lewis Russell, William Henry Russell, Penelope Russell|
|Parent(s)||Lewis Russell, Aida Raffetto|
|Awards||Fulbright Fellow, Harvard Junior Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow|
Jeffrey Burton Russell (born 1934) is an American historian and religious studies scholar.
He is currently Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has also taught History and Religious Studies at Berkeley, Riverside, California State University, Sacramento, Harvard, New Mexico, and Notre Dame.
Russell has published widely, mostly in medieval European history and the history of theology. His first book was Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages (1965). He is most noted for his five-volume history of the concept of the Devil: The Devil (1977), Satan (1981), Lucifer (1984), Mephistopheles (1986) and The Prince of Darkness (1988).
In Inventing the Flat Earth (1991) he argues that 19th century anti-Christians invented and spread the falsehood that educated people in the Middle Ages believed that the earth was flat. As one writer summarizes, "Russell also examined a large selection of textbooks and found those written before 1870 usually included the correct account, but most textbooks written after 1880 uncritically repeated the erroneous claims in Washington Irving, John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. Russell concludes that Irving, Draper and White were the main writers responsible for introducing the erroneous flat-earth myth that is still with us today."
Russell has also written two books on the history of the notion of Heaven: A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence (1997), which deals with the period from around 200 B.C. up to Dante, and Paradise Mislaid (2006), which takes the story up to the present day.
The Library of Congress lists 18 books written by Russell:
Articles by Russell include:
Book reviews by Russell include: