Staff Profiles: Prof. Melissa Raphael

Prof. Melissa Raphael

Staff Profile: Prof. Melissa Raphael

Prof. Melissa Raphael

Prof. Melissa Raphael


Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies

Religion gets a mixed press these days and it seems ever more important to be well-informed about it as both a conceptual system and a way of living.


I've always been fascinated by the way that religion both unites and divides people; the way that it commands both respect and sometimes disdain for human life. Although religion is often pressed into the service of violent political ideologies, I wouldn't teach and research it if I didn't believe that religious belief and practice weren’t ultimately celebratory and a foundation for love. I'm interested in studying lived (rather than text-book) religion, especially the way that women experience male-dominated religion as both liberative and oppressive.


Award Title Institution Date
BA (Hons) Theology University of Oxford 1983
PGCE Religious Education University of Durham 1985
PhD Philosophical Theology King's College, London University 1990


2012 Isaiah Berlin Travel Award for the purposes of research.

2004 The Female Face of God in Auschwitz, one of four books short-listed for the Koret Jewish Book Award, under the category of Jewish Philosophy and Thought.

Membership of professional bodies

European Society for Women in Theological Research.

The Institute for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The American Academy of Religion

The London Society for the Study of Religion (by election)

Teaching and research


Melissa teaches on feminist theology, Jewish theology, contemporary Judaism, phenomenology of religion, religion, philosophy and visual art, religion and gender, modern Jewish thought, religion, wealth and the workplace and contemporary ethics.


Undergraduate, Postgraduate


Gender and religion

Feminist theology and philosophy

Visual art and Western religion



More publications from Prof. Melissa Raphael can be found in the Research Repository.

Completed Supervisions

External responsibilities

Professor Raphael is an Honorary Research Scholar at the University of Wales, Lampeter and sits on the International Board of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and The Journal of Religion and Gender. She is Visiting Professor in Theology at the Universities of Chichester and York St John.

Professional positions

As well as teaching at the University of Gloucestershire, I teach Jewish Religious Thought at Leo Baeck College, London and am a Senior Editor (Associate) at Oxford University Press, New York, for The Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion and the Arts 1500-The Present.