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Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Muslim Chaplain to Harvard at Memorial Church. Photo by Jeffrey Blackwell, Memorial Church

A Reminder about Hope, Grace, and Deliverance: An Islamic Perspective

February 22, 2021

"Hope in the grace and love of God is a hallmark of the righteous and those who love God and are beloved by God, the ability to see light in spite of darkness, to hope instead of despairing, and to know with conviction that with every difficulty comes deliverance and ease," says Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Muslim Chaplain to Harvard University, and Lecturer on Muslim Studies at HDS.

Professor Frank Clooney standing in the CSWR. Photo by Kris Snibbe, Harvard Gazette

Seeded Amid the Many Surprises of COVID Times, Some Unexpected Positives

February 22, 2021

"We are slowed down, yet living in a world of urgency and woe, where there is so much to be done. It is surely for the good that we are asking ourselves, 'Why do I do the research, writing, and teaching that I do?' This existential crisis may be a good one, pushing us back to the basics," said HDS Professor Francis X. Clooney, S.J.

Harvard Divinity School Professor Jacob Olupona. Photo by the New York Times

Death Has Many Names

February 16, 2021
"Death as a palpable force looms large in the Yoruba religious and social consciousness. From cosmology to various ritual practices and genres of oral traditions such as proverbs, poetry and short stories are all brought to bear on the reality of death. Not a day goes by that speakers of the Yoruba language do not make mention of death as both a phenomenon and a certainty," says HDS Professor of African Religious Traditions Jacob Olupona.
Quardricos Driskell, MTS '08

What Black History Month in 2021 Means for a Rising Spiritual and Ethical Movement

February 12, 2021

In February of 1926, Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-education historian, had a very specific goal in mind when he established what was then called Negro History Week. He hoped, as time went along, that Black history would be recognized as so entrenched in American history that calendars wouldn’t indicate when society should celebrate Black history.

Flash forward to 1970, when Black History Month as we know it today was first celebrated at Kent State University, then 16 years later, in 1986, when the U.S. Congress officially recognized Black History Month as the law of the land,...

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HDS student Julia Reimann

Exploring Death, Music, and Spirituality in Field Education

February 10, 2021

HDS MDiv candidate Julia Reimann discusses her field education work with Harps of Comfort, a group of palliative musicians offering virtual music sessions to isolated COVID-19 patients, and how it allowed her to dream up and produce a podcast to further develop her pastoral voice and investigate the intersections of end of life care, spirituality, and music.

Professor Charles Stang

Charles Stang on Twinship in Christian Texts

February 10, 2021
"For me, the evidence of Judas Thomas the Twin of Jesus in early Christianity points to a much larger pattern in ancient religion that I call the 'divine double,' by which I mean a belief that every person has a divine counterpart, twin, or alter-ego. To encounter one’s divine double is to embark on a path of deification, becoming divine or even a god,” says Professor Charles Stang, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions.
Jacob Olupona

The Essential Jacob Olupona at 70

February 5, 2021
"At various stages of a stellar career as a scholar of the highest distinction, Professor Olupona has marshaled his energy to build bridges so that those coming behind him can have a more secure pathway as they march forward," writes Amherst College Professor Olufemi Vaughan, in tribute to HDS Professor Jacob Olupona on his 70th birthday.
People sitting in the Smith Campus Center. Photo by Rose Lincoln

What I Miss Most about Campus since the Pandemic…

February 4, 2021

Members of the Harvard community, including MTS candidate Eboni Nash and Kerry Maloney, HDS chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life, discuss what they hope to see and do again, when COVID passes and we’re together on campus again.

Jon Levenson

Jon Levenson on the Love of God

February 1, 2021
What does it mean for God to love a people? What does it look like for a community of people to reciprocate that love? HDS Professor Jon Levenson discusses his research and reflections on God's love in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).
HDS Professor Cornel West

'How Do We Shatter That Denial?'

January 25, 2021
Harvard Divinity School Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy Cornel West and Dartmouth College Professor Susannah Heschel, MTS '76, discuss the question: are there moral lessons for citizens and nations following last week's inauguration?
Joe Biden stands on the steps of the Capitol as he is sworn in as president. AP photo

Recognizing Pain but Seizing Hope

January 21, 2021
The prayers offered during President Joe Biden's inauguration ultimately “reflected Biden’s desire to overcome religious as well as political divisions and to unite people in service of the common good,” said HDS Professor Catherine Brekus.
Four nuns seated in pews in a church. Photo by wikicommons

Has Religion Shaped Our Understanding of Gender?

January 19, 2021
Ann Braude, director of the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School discusses the history of women and religion and how religion has defined gender roles.
Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021. / Photo: Creative Commons, Gage Skidmore

How Joe Biden’s Faith Will Shape His Presidency

January 19, 2021

In an October 2020 op-ed for the Christian Post, Joe Biden wrote: “My Catholic faith drilled into me a core truth—that every person on earth is equal in rights and dignity, because we are all beloved children of God.” As president, he continued, “These are the principles that will shape all that I do, and my faith will continue to serve as my anchor, as it has my entire life.”... Read more about How Joe Biden’s Faith Will Shape His Presidency

A man prays in front of the United States Capitol during on January 6, 2021. Photo by Getty Images

White Christian Nationalists Want More Than Just Political Power

January 15, 2021
"For white Christian nationalists, taking back the country is about more than just political power. They see themselves as faithful patriots fulfilling the American Founders’ covenant with God to maintain a righteous Christian nation," writes Lauren R. Kerby, religious literacy specialist for HDS's Religion and Public Life program.
Martin Luther King Jr. on a bus

Dr. Martin Luther King and the Quiet Realities of Real Vocations

January 15, 2021
"My impression is that Dr. King did not hear a voice in the night calling to him, had no visions of Jesus calling him, and, born and raised in a spiritually committed family, was not a great sinner who underwent a radical conversion experience. It may be just that he rose to the moment when much was expected of him, all of a sudden: the word of God sparked within him at the right moment," writes Professor Francis X. Clooney.
Supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Photo by New York Times

America's Divide Seen in a Clash of Symbols

January 15, 2021
"Biden is intent on taking his oath on the steps of the Capitol because he understands its symbolic power. He is determined to reclaim the Capitol from those who claimed, in the midst of erecting nooses and wreaking violence against the police, to be America's truest patriots," says HDS Professor Catherine Brekus.
"Black And Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom" author conversation took place December 8, 2020.

Video: Black And Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom

January 8, 2021

Buddhism is a way of life, a philosophy, a psychology, a set of ethics, a religion, or a combination thereof. Central to the many ways Buddhism is understood is the achievement of emotional, mental, and psychological wellness. African Americans are at perpetual risk of psychological imbalance and trauma due to the social realities of racism in the United States. In  this video, the authors engage the question: What can Buddhism offer African Americans who want to be emotionally resilient in a context they cannot singlehandedly change?... Read more about Video: Black And Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom

Stephanie Paulsell

Searching for the Beginning

December 15, 2020
"And yet, the situation we’re in will not last forever. Slowly, by fits and starts, things will begin changing. We have a future together," says Interim Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and Susan Shallcross Swartz Professor of the Practice of Christian Studies Stephanie Paulsell.
Terry Tempest Williams

The Power of Touch

December 4, 2020
HDS writer-in-residence Terry Tempest Williams considers how we go deeper with our feeling of what does it mean to touch and be touched?
Wilson Hood, MDiv '19

What Really Matters

November 30, 2020
"Our lives are so fragile. They always have been. We are always living on the brink, on the edge, at the threshold. Every single day carries the possibility of our last judgment. Every breath is a prelude to the apocalypse. As the philosopher and mystic Simone Weil once wrote: 'Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling,'" says Wilson Hood, MDiv '19.
"Sisters of the Psychedelic Revolution: A Conversation with Leni Sinclair and Genie Parker" took place on November 18, 2020.

Video: Sisters of the Psychedelic Revolution: A Conversation with Leni Sinclair and Genie Parker

November 24, 2020

Hippie culture left a lasting impression on the Mid-West of the United States. Historians tend to portray the Haight Ashbury of San Francisco and the East Village of Manhattan as America’s foremost psychedelic hotspots, but it was in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, that the psychedelic revolution seems to have succeeded, at least partially.

Leni Sinclair and Genie Parker were at the heart of Ann Arbor’s hippie scene. From their commune, Trans-Love Energy, they co-coordinated a robust alternative community, which included numerous underground newspapers, free health...

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