Faculty News and Research

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.
Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021. / Photo: Creative Commons, Gage Skidmore

Podcast: 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 Podcast: How Joe Biden’s Faith Will Shape His Presidency

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.
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.
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.
"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