Browse Entire Collection

Document Type


Interview Date



Is it possible to define religion?

Dr. Judith Plaskow discusses the only use of her definition of religion, which is in the classroom. She defines the word as “a set of myths, rituals, and symbols that relate ultimate action to reality”. Dr. Plaskow concentrates on myths, rituals, and symbols rather than institutional religion in her teaching, and more importantly emphasizes understanding the concept of what is religion’s “ultimate reality” – another way of investigating what we would call the transcendent.

Streaming Media


Playing Time: 2:57 minutes

About the Interviewee:

Dr. Judith Plaskow is Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College. Her major interest is in feminist theology in the United States and Europe and she is co-founder of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and co-edited it for its first ten years. Past President of the American Academy of Religion, Dr. Plaskow helped found the Jewish feminist group, B’not Esh. She has written two books, Sex, Sin and Grace: Women's Experience and the Theologies of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, and Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective and published other works of note, mostly on the topic of feminist spirituality. Dr. Plaskow is a graduate of Yale University.

About the Interviewer:

Dr. Alfred Benney is a professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University. He has a Ph.D in Theology from the Hartford Seminary Foundation and teaches courses in Non-Traditional American Religions and Christian Religious Thought. His research interests include "how people learn"; "the appropriate use of technology in teaching/learning" and "myth as explanatory narrative". He has published work on teaching with technology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.