Mark Russ is a writer, theologian and teacher. His teaching interests include spiritual practice and music, the Bible, apocalyptic literature, hope, whiteness, modern Christian theology, and the beginnings of Liberal Quakerism. He particularly enjoys working with people who are new to Quakerism. In 2022 he began a PhD at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, researching the liberal Quaker theology of the human being.
As a writer, Mark has been an active blogger at jollyquaker.com since 2013, and has written for the Friend, Friends Quarterly and Quaker Studies. His first book, ‘Quaker Shaped Christianity’, is published by Christian Alternative Books in 2022 as part of the ‘Quaker Quicks’ series.
Mark came to Quakers in his late teens, and spent a decade as a music teacher in Birmingham and London. In 2014 he and his husband spent a year living and working in faith-based intentional communities in the UK and the USA. He holds MAs in Music Education from the Institute of Education, and in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the University of Nottingham. From 2015 to 2022 he worked as a Programmes Coordinator at Woodbrooke.
2022 Quaker shaped Christianity: How the Jesus story and the Quaker way fit together. Christian Alternative Books. https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/christian-alternative-books/our-books/quaker-shaped-christianity Telling the Jesus story through Quaker eyes; this is rich, readable theology that is both contemporary and rooted in tradition.
Refereed journal articles
2020 “Quaker Eschatology in Britain through the Lens of Narrative.” Quaker Studies 25, no. 2: 207–25. https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/article/60281/
August 2021 “‘Why Do You Call Me Good?’: Whiteness and Quaker Theological Fragility.” The Friends Quarterly 49, no. 3: 14–24.
December 18, 2020 “Herod.” The Friend 178, no. 51: 18. https://thefriend.org/article/king-sized-failings-mark-russ-considers-herod
August 27, 2020 “A Black Theology of Liberation by James Cone.” The Friend 178, no. 35: 16–17. https://thefriend.org/article/a-black-theology-of-liberation-by-james-cone
December 13, 2019 “The God of Broad Places.” The Friend 177, no. 50: 14–15. https://thefriend.org/article/i-find-great-comfort-in-describing-myself-as-a-quaker-shaped-christian
April 21, 2017 “Let’s Talk about Evil.” The Friend 175, no. 60: 10–11. https://thefriend.org/article/lets-talk-about-evil
August 2, 2013 “The Nayler Passion.” The Friend 171, no. 31: 12–13. https://thefriend.org/article/the-nayler-passion1
Unpublished MA theses
2019 “Towards a Quaker Theology of Hope: Postmodern Quaker Eschatology through the Lens of Narrative.” University of Nottingham.
2013 “Every Child a Musician?: Exploring the Impact of Music Education Provision in English Primary Schools on Pupils’ Musical Identity.” University of London, Institute of Education.
Musical compositions include:
2013 The Nayler Passion. Cantata on the witness of early Quaker leader James Nayler for baritone solo, SSAATB chorus, piano 4 hands and optional lute. c.90’. Original poetry by Emily Hunka with additional texts from the King James Bible and Quaker Faith and Practice. Premiered Sunday 3 November 2013 at the Birmingham Conservatoire Recital Hall, Birmingham, UK, by Quaker performing arts organisation The Leaveners.
2017 Three Thomas Kelly Chants for SATB chorus.