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Is it possible to define religion?

Dr. Tracy Pintchman discusses whether it is possible to define religion. She explains that this is the most difficult question to answer and compares it to trying to define the word poetry. As a student of Dr. Ninian Smart she always thinks of religions of having many dimensions, i.e. religions are constantly changing. Dr. Pintchman says it is not until you begin to study religion that everything you thought you knew is no longer valid. Defining religion is not important to her; looking at religion as a human construct is what is important.

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Playing Time: 4:42 minutes

About the Interviewee:

Dr. Tracy Pintchman received a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara where she specialized in the study of Hinduism, with a focus on gender issues, Goddess traditions, and Hindu women's rituals. Dr. Pintchman is a Professor and Director of International Studies Program at Loyola University, Chicago. She has also taught at Northwestern University and Harvard University. Her publications include: Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition and The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition.

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.