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Dr. Paul Lakeland discusses his reasoning behind not wanting to define religion: the fact that most definitions are either too narrow or too broad. He then gives the following as his definition: “Religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that provisionally satisfy the question, ‘What is it all about and what should I do about it?’.” He speaks about what this definition means and what he avoids in using it. He then discusses the relationship between humans, faith and belief.

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Playing Time for Two Videos:5:52 minutes, 3:11 minutes = 9:03 minutes

Interview Date: circa 2010-2011

About the Interviewee: Dr. Paul Lakeland received his Licentiate in Philosophy from Heythrop Pontifical Athenaeum, his M.A. in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, his Bachelor of Divinity from the University of London and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is currently the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies and Director of Fairfield's Center for Catholic Studies. He is a former chairperson of the Religious Studies Department and a former director of the Honors Program. Dr. Lakeland’s research interests include the roles of the laity in the Catholic Church, the papacy, religion and literature and the relations between religious commitment and progressive politics. He is the prolific author of numerous scholarly articles and 9 books including Liberation of the Laity, Catholicism at the Crossroads, and A Council That Will Never End.

About the Interviewer: Dr. Alfred Benney is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Fairfield University. He has a Ph.D in Theology from the Hartford Seminary Foundation and taught 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.

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