Religion and Politics

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 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 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

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.
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.
Cornell William Brooks

Public Policy, Prophetic Vision

November 9, 2020

Brooks teaches students to bring sacred and secular together in service of social justice

When Cornell William Brooks saw the video of George Floyd, the African American man killed last May by a Minneapolis police officer, it immediately brought to mind another terrifying image: the photo of the disfigured corpse of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African American lynched in Mississippi in 1955.... Read more about Public Policy, Prophetic Vision

Cornell William Brooks

An Electorate That Wanted to Be Heard

November 5, 2020
"At this moment, the country stands divided by class fissures and racial fault lines in the middle of a pandemic, and nevertheless nearly 100 million people cast ballots in the midst of 9 million coronavirus cases and 230,000 coronavirus fatalities. This is a testament to the intestinal fortitude of people all across the country," said Cornell William Brooks, Visiting Professor of the Practice of Prophetic Religion and Public Leadership at HDS.
Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands during a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in Las Vegas on Oct. 30, 2016.

White Evangelical Support for Trump Goes beyond His Policies, Supporters and Historians Say

November 2, 2020
"I think 'Make America Great Again' is broader than just an evangelical attitude. But it is, in many ways, tailor-made for them—they hear that and they absolutely hear, 'We need to make America Christian, the way it used to be when it was run by White conservative Christians,'" says Lauren Kerby, Religious Literacy Specialist for Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School.
Religion and the Election poster

Video: Religion and the 2020 Election: A Conversation with James Kloppenberg and E.J. Dionne

October 30, 2020

View a conversation on religion and the 2020 election with James Kloppenberg, Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard, and E.J. Dionne, Visiting Professor in Religion and Political Culture at HDS. This event was moderated by Catherine Brekus, Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at HDS, and was sponsored by the Council on the Study of Religion, the Committee on the Study of Religion, and Harvard Divinity School.... Read more about Video: Religion and the 2020 Election: A Conversation with James Kloppenberg and E.J. Dionne

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