Ruth Illman

is the Director of the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture in Åbo/Turku, Finland. She holds the title of Docent in the study or religions at Åbo Akademi University and in the history of religions at Uppsala University, as well as doctoral degrees in both the study of religion (2004) and Jewish studies (2018). Her main research interests include contemporary Judaism, interreligious dialogue, religion and the arts (especially music) as well as ethnographic research methodologies. Among her latest publications are the article “Knowing, Being, and Doing Religion: Introducing an Analytical Model for Researching Vernacular Religion” in Temenos. Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion (Vol. 56/2, 2020) and the books Music and Religious Change among Progressive Jews in London. Being Liberal and Doing Traditional (Lexington, 2018) and Theology and the Arts. Engaging Faith (Routledge 2013/2016) co-authored with W. Alan Smith. Since 2016, she is the editor of the scholarly journal Nordisk judaistik / Scandinavian Jewish Studies, currently together with Dr. Svante Lundgren of Lund University, Sweden. She is also the director of the research project Boundaries of Jewish Identities in Contemporary Finland. At DI, she has pioneered responsible open access publishing within her field. Website: