Professor of Jewish Theology

Melissa Raphael180

Contact Email: mraphael@glos.ac.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1242 714775

My name is Melissa Raphael, and I’m a Professor of Jewish Theology. My main areas of research and teaching are modern and contemporary Jewish theology, feminist perspectives on theology and religion; art and religion, and the sacred/profane distinction in Western religion.

When I’m not teaching, I write the articles and books that inform many of the modules I’m responsible for here at the University and which contribute to international academic debate:

These are some of my publications: Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness (Oxford University Press, 1997); Thealogy and Embodiment: The Post-Patriarchal Reconstruction of Female Sacrality(Sheffield Academic Press, 1996); Introducing Thealogy: Discourse on the Goddess (Sheffield Academic Press: 1999); The Female Face of God in Auschwitz:A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust(Routledge, 2003), shortlisted for the Koret Jewish Book Award in 2004 and the subject of an American Academy of Religion panel session in 2009, and Judaism and the Visual Image: A Jewish Theology of Art (Continuum, 2009). I’m currently working on a new book which will be called something along the lines of Gender,Idolatry and Alienation: Jewish Theology and the Appearance of the Human.

I don’t only lecture at the University of Gloucestershire.  One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that guest lecturing has taken me all over the world, from Seoul to Wisconsin…Some of these guest lectures have included the 2008 Sherman Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester, and the 2008 Granville-Goodspeed Lecture in Theology at Denison University, Ohio.  In 2011 I was the Hussey Lecturer in the Church and the Arts at the University of Oxford and in October 2012 I contributed to the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the issuing of A Common Word, a historic interfaith initiative of Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad of Jordan, with a lecture on the nature of love in Judaism, at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

I’m also Honorary Research Scholar at the University of Wales, Lampeter and sit on the International Board of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and The Journal of Religion and Gender. I’m Visiting Professor in Theology at the University of Chichester and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York, St John. I regularly broadcast on Radio 4 and television and have been the academic representative for the British Government on the International Task Force for Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.

Outside my life at the University of Gloucestershire, I like to garden, read, draw and hike (especially on coastal paths).