Now in 2021, the podcast “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text” is back for series two with a new host team: Vanessa Zoltan, MDiv '15, is joined by Harvard Divinity School Professor Matthew I. Potts, who is also Pusey Minister of Memorial Church.
“People need acknowledgment that what we’re still going through is very hard. There’s a sense culturally now that kids are being vaccinated that it feels like we may be coming to a different point,” says Laura Tuach, assistant director of field education in the Office of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School and a mom of young twins.
“One of the things that is shocking to me is the way we just trundle on,” said Elizabeth Kolbert, whose 2014 book “The Sixth Extinction” was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. “Each loss doesn’t get marked, and I see my role to a great extent as bearing witness.”
Laurie D. Sedgwick, MDiv ‘23, Coordinator, HDS Office of Career Services, Administration, Memorial Church, delivered the following remarks at Morning Prayers in Harvard's Memorial Church on November 18, 2021.... Read more about 'A Life of Prayer'
The Reverend Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at HDS, and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, delivered the following remarks at Morning Prayers in Harvard's Memorial Church on November 17, 2021.
"I implore us to consider ways in which we can better support those who give all that they have to live on. Standing with service members and veterans rather than standing apart and cheering them on. And the hopes of maturing through mutual exposure to one another. Where we all must work together to forge a fair exchange of service and support that benefits all who need it most," said the Rev. Elam D. Jones MDiv ‘19, Ph.D Student, HDS, U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Officer, during a sermon at the Memorial Church.
Built in 1911 by Allen & Collens, Architects, Swartz Hall is the the Ivy League university’s only Collegiate Gothic building and serves as the heart of Harvard Divinity School’s academic and administrative operations.
The Reverend Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at HDS, and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, delivered the following remarks at Morning Prayers in Harvard's Memorial Church on November 10, 2021.... Read more about 'Let Your Light Shine'
"Since 9/11, U.S. leaders have focused on granting physical security to Americans, which has proven insufficient to rebuild the collective narrative and has been further discredited by the ineffectual management of the pandemic," writes Jocelyne Cesari, T. J. Dermot Dunphy Visiting Professor of Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding at HDS.
"This is the miracle. Christians all over the world are going to be changed because we are welcoming these children into our fellowship today. Christians across time and place are going to be changed because we welcome them," said said the Rev. Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at HDS and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.
“The point of a translation isn’t to understand primarily another world that you won’t have access to otherwise. Instead, it’s to give you resources for understanding yourself,” said Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures.
The renovation of Swartz Hall embodies Harvard Divinity School’s vision for a campus that is truly inclusive —a place where students from every imaginable tradition and background can come together in pursuit of humanity’s most fundamental questions and answers—both in classrooms worthy of their brilliance and in communal spaces that nurture the informal interactions from which new ideas and new relationships so often flow.... Read more about Video: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future: The Renewal of Swartz Hall
As the fall semester began in 2021, the first two Yang Visiting Scholars in World Christianity joined the HDS community eagerly awaiting them in Cambridge. Both Dr. Chandra Mallampalli, Professor of History at Westmount College in California, and Dr. Oluwakemi Abiodun Adesina, Associate Professor of History and Head of the Department of History and International Studies at Redeemer’s University in Nigeria, research and teach about Christianity as a worldwide religion. As the inaugural Yang Scholars, they are creating a foundation of experts that will expand over the years, numerically and geographically, thanks to the vision and generosity of Nancy and X.D. Yang.... Read more about Nancy and X.D. Yang on Building an Intellectual Community
Scholar, professor, academic leader, author, animal rights advocate—Janet Gyatso contains multitudes
As Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs here at HDS, Janet Gyatso has helped lead the School through the many challenges of 2020 and 2021 by grounding herself in the practice of compassion. As a professor of Buddhist studies, she has shifted the focus of her classes to explore current issues from new Buddhist perspectives. As a scholar with a fierce appreciation for the welfare of all sentient beings, Gyatso has started working on her next book: an exploration on the connections between animal welfare and empathy.... Read more about Compassion in Crisis: Professor Janet Gyatso on Empathy, Ethics, and New Epistemologies
The summer before starting at HDS, Cody Hooks (he/him) undertook a pilgrimage through northern New Mexico to visit LGBTQIA+ elders and gather up fragments of their collective history. Many had lived through the peak of AIDS and forged ways of caring for one another in the midst of devastation, “making lives of soulful abundance out of a sometimes impossible world.”... Read more about Modeling Multireligious Community: Cody Hooks, MDiv '22
While visiting an exhibit at a gallery on Martha’s Vineyard years ago, Preston and Connie Williams found themselves taken by the vibrant colors and stunning texture of the paintings. Preston leaned closer to one of the pieces—noticing a small notation where an author’s mark would normally melt into the work. He turned to the artist and asked for the meaning of the inscription.... Read more about From Restoration to Reinvention: Swartz Hall Fosters Meaningful Connection
In the 2020 Dean’s Report, I wrote to you all with hope—hope that our community would weather the many storms we faced safely, hope that we would find strength while navigating uncertainty, and hope that we could ground ourselves in compassion even as the world felt unmoored.... Read more about Renewal & Reflection
Soon after Suzannah Omonuk (she/her) began studying at HDS, she came across an application for a student grant funded by Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Initiative, which examines Harvard’s connections to slavery through ongoing discussions, programming, and research. Omonuk learned about slavery as a child growing up in Uganda, but these lessons did not fully explain the aftermath seen and felt in the US and beyond. She began writing a poem, “The Story of Venus,” both to give voice to an enslaved young woman who worked on Harvard’s campus in the 1700s and to process her own experience as a young African woman in the United States. “I thought, what better way to do it than place myself in the shoes of another young Black woman who came to this country and who walked the streets of Harvard under completely different circumstances?”... Read more about Modeling Multireligious Community: Suzannah Omonuk, MDiv '23
This is a remarkable moment in the 200+ year history of Harvard Divinity School. We’re celebrating the return to campus and the ability to gather in community once more after more than a year of remote teaching, learning, and working. We’re also celebrating the renewal of Swartz Hall—the heart of our campus and community—after a careful renovation to better serve our community’s needs while preserving the building’s historical charm.... Read more about A Message of Thanks
As an undergraduate at Ambedkar University Delhi in India, Swati Chauhan (she/her) started reading the many Ramayanas in a comparative literature class. At first, she approached the tradition strictly through a literary lens, focusing on character development and plot structure. When asked about its theological content, she saw this as outside her scope: “People would ask me questions like, ‘What do you think about Rama as a god?’ or ‘What do you think about the Ramayana’s appropriation by the ‘Hindu nationalists’?’ and I would say, ‘That’s not my thing.’”... Read more about Modeling Multireligious Community: Swati Chauhan, MTS ’22