This fall at Harvard Divinity School, environmentalist, author, and HDS Writer-in-Residence Terry Tempest Williams is leading a series of online conversations concerning our response to climate chaos, asking the questions: How might we recast this a time of meaning rather than despair? How do arts and activism combine to let us see possibility instead of pessimism? And where do we find the strength to fully face all that is breaking our hearts?... Read more about Reflecting on ‘A Burning Testament to Climate Collapse’
“Putting the Bible or placing American history within the Bible, or suggesting the U.S. is a source of revelation, is seen by many evangelicals as a kind of heresy,” said HDS Professor Catherine Brekus.
"My conversation about Islam with my boss on the first day of work had been hijacked by the terrorist attacks, and it would forever change the trajectory of my life," says Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University and Lecturer on Muslim Studies at HDS.
"So, as we approach the 20th anniversary, we hold in our hearts the memories of all those whose lives were lost, whose innocence was taken or whose existence was forever changed at 7:59 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles, lifted off the runway of Boston's Logan International Airport," writes Anne Gardner, MDiv '05.
"Religion is conceived very narrowly with exclusive attention to ideas or doctrines, even though we have established that most of the political conflicts related to religion do not pertain to beliefs but belongings," writes Jocelyne Cesari, Dermot T. J. Dunphy Visiting Professor of Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding at HDS.
“Baked into the international system and into diplomacy, especially in the West, is a great deal of simplistic and often biased thinking about religion,” said Susan Hayward, associate director of the religious literacy and the professions initiative at HDS.
During the University's Convocation for the Class of 2024 and 2025 on Tuesday, the Rev. Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at HDS and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, asked everybody to be “thankful that we are here, that we made it” and to remember those whose help was crucial to arrive at this moment.
"May we always make neighbors of strangers. May we learn to love them as we love ourselves. And may we forever welcome the lost and the lonely and the forgotten as our own into this, our church home," said Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.
"For the way in which an educational institution thinks about religious groups and their distinctive worldviews touches upon the deeper issue of the nature and goals of education in general and upon the mission of individual educational institutions in particular," writes Professor Jon Levenson.
"This is abstracting the relationships that are built through prayer. It’s abstracting just the petitionary from all these other kinds of Christian prayers, which just makes it a less rich experience as part of a community and a less rich prayer life," said Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.
HDS is launching its first new master’s degree program in more than 50 years, the master of religion and public life. Coupled with a similarly named certificate program—the anchors of the of the Religion and Public Life initiative—HDS has embarked upon a comprehensive program of training professionals for practice in other realms.
Students and faculty will soon return to campus after more than a year away. Orientation starts in two weeks. The fall semester begins on September 1. Nevertheless, there are still more than a few days left to enjoy the beach, lake, shady tree, or porch swing all while crossing another book or two off those summer reading lists.... Read more about HDS’s 2021 Summer Reading List
HDS Visiting Professor Cornell William Brooks leads the Harvard Kennedy School’s William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, which he calls a think-and-do tank for Harvard students committed to social justice advocacy and rigorous applied research. Brooks is also a Professor at Harvard Kennedy School.
Professor Jon D. Levenson argues that contrary to a very widespread misconception, the ancient rabbis were keenly committed to the belief that at the end of time, God would restore the deserving dead to life.
Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions held a discussion titled “What is Psychedelic Chaplaincy?”, the purpose of which was to explore the role that spiritual caregivers might play among those seeking and undergoing psychedelic experiences.
“The healing garden is about curing, not just remembering. It’s about restoration, it’s about hope of transformation, coming out of this,” said HDS Professor Davíd Carrasco. "It's also saying to the people who have tried to put a boot in the face of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in recent years — that we will not imitate your cruelty with ours."
Smaller organizations with older congregations that struggled to adapt during the pandemic are in the greatest danger of a downward spiral from which they can’t recover, said the Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, Swartz Resident Practitioner in Ministry Studies.
Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School announced its 2021-22 fellows. This inaugural cohort of expert practitioners bring deep expertise and social justice commitments to a range of professions (government, education, journalism, organizing, and media and entertainment) and issues (racial justice, climate change, immigration advocacy, and Native and Indigenous rights).