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About Dr Alana Vincent

Before I earned my PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2010, I trained as a sculptor and had a very brief career as a freelance artist, which I abandoned to pursue research when I discovered that I was really much better at writing about other people’s creative processes. My doctoral research was a comparative study of the memory practices connected to the First World War and the Holocaust in Canada.

After finishing my PhD, I held a post as the Barbro Osher Research Fellow in Memory of Krister Stendahl at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem, where my research was focussed on Jewish-Christian dialogue and issues of religious stereotyping; I also taught classes on Judaism and interreligious dialogue to ministers and people studying for ordination in the Church of Sweden. I then returned to Glasgow as a Rothschild Fellow in Jewish Studies for one year, during which I taught a range of classes on Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and religion and the arts, before taking up my post at the University of Chester in 2012. At Chester, my approach to teaching combines the acquisition of specific knowledge (usually about Judaism, but also about general questions like “What is religion?”) with the practice and mastery of logic, critical reading, and writing skills. Students in my classes are encouraged to find something that’s interesting to them and supported in pursuing that interest.

My current research is about the role art and religion play in the construction of political identities—who do we imagine when we talk about “we” or “us”? What prior knowledge informs that imagination, and how did we obtain that knowledge? Who are we leaving out, and why?



  • Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • Encountering Religion: Judaism and Buddhism
  • Judaism and Islam: Philosophy and Hermeneutics
  • Field Study of Religion
  • Violence and Nationalism: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives


  • Evil in Comparative Theological Perspective
  • Field Study of Religion


Research Interests:

  • Religion and the arts, particularly:
    • fantasy and science fiction
    • the art and literature of the two world wars
    • decorative arts, arts & crafts, and 19th century aesthetics
  • Jewish-Christian dialogue
  • Post-Holocaust thought
  • Cultural memory

PhD and DProf supervision:

I welcome proposals for research projects relating to any of the above areas, or for other topics in modern Jewish studies or arts, literature, and religion.

Elsewhere on the web:


University of Chester Repository Page


Published Work


2014    Jewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution. Co-edited with Elena Namli and Jayne Svenungsson. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2013    Making Memory: Jewish and Christian Explorations in Monument, Narrative and Liturgy. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Press.

2012    Culture, Communion and Recovery: Tolkienian Fairy-Story and Inter-Religious Exchange. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Journal Articles

2017    “Dissenting from Redemption: Judaism and Political Theology”. European Judaism 17/1.

2016  “The Work of Creation: Image, Idolatry, and Jewish Discourse in Theology and the Arts”. Literature & Theology 30/4.

2016    “Förlåtelse och teodicé efter Auschwitz”, trans. Daniel Pedersen, in Aiolos 52-53 (“Auschwitz and Culture”) pp. 169-178.

2015    ‘The Rabbi on the Train: Questions of Forgiveness’, in Jewish Quarterly 62.3 pp. 10-15.

2012    ‘Visible Religion: Seeing is Believing?’, with Julie Clague. Culture and Religion 13.1 pp. 65-66.

Edited Chapters

2015    ‘Forgetting Capsules: Public Monuments and Religious Ritual’, in Monument and Memory, ed. Mattias Martinson. Berlin: LIT-Verlag.

2015    ‘Imitation and Finitude: Towards a Jewish Theology of Making’, in The Ethics of In-Visibility: Imago Dei, Memory, and the Prohibition of Images, ed. Claudia Welz. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

2014    ‘Introduction’ and ‘Topos and Utopia: The Place of Art in the Revolution’, in Jewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution, ed. Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson, and Alana M. Vincent. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2014 “Knitting lives together: a liturgy for the blessing of an interfaith partnership (Jewish and Christian traditions)”, with Mark A. Godin. In Moments of our Days and Nights (Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications).

2013    ‘Asher Lev at the Israel Museum: Stereotyping Art and Craft’, in Religious Stereotyping and Interreligious Relations, ed. Jesper Svartvik and Jakob Wirén. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


BFA (Atlanta College of Art), MA (Prescott College), PhD (Glasgow), FHEA.