News

"The Hindu Margins" took place April 14, 2021.

Video: The Hindu Margins: Third Gender and Women Spiritual Partners

April 27, 2021

This lecture focused on the Hindu view of life from the margins. While the “Hindu margin” is a fairly large heterogeneous group, this lecture laid the lens on the third gender, Kinnars (pejorative term hijṛā) and spiritual partners, categorized as “consorts.” Both these groups were discussed within the ritual praxis of “lived religions,” within the larger world of Śākta Tantra (Goddess esoteric traditions).... Read more about Video: The Hindu Margins: Third Gender and Women Spiritual Partners

People rally outside the courthouse in Minneapolis in April 2021. Photo by AP

Ensuring the Floyd Trial Becomes a Turning Point

April 22, 2021
Cornell William Brooks, Visiting Professor of the Practice of Prophetic Religion and Public Leadership at HDS and Hauser Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses the significance of the conviction of former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd and what it may mean for the future of meaningful police reforms.
This panel discussion featured Benjamin Friedman, Michelle Sanchez, and Devin Singh.

Video: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

April 20, 2021

Where do our ideas about how the economy works, and our views on economic policy, come from? Critics of contemporary economics complain that belief in free markets, among economists as well as many ordinary citizens, is a form of religion. The foundational transition in thinking about what we now call economics, beginning in the eighteenth century, was decisively shaped by the hotly contended lines of religious thought at that time within the English-speaking Protestant world.

Abuse of Power in Alternative and Emerging Spiritual and Cultural Organizations

Video: Follow-up Panel on Abuse of Power in Alternative and Emerging Spiritual and Cultural Organizations

April 20, 2021

In the wake of our February 25 Virtual Panel, “Abuse of Power in Alternative and Emerging Spiritual and Cultural Organizations,” many people have expressed a desire to continue the conversation. Therefore, we are launching an ongoing discussion on our platform around this complex and sensitive topic.... Read more about Video: Follow-up Panel on Abuse of Power in Alternative and Emerging Spiritual and Cultural Organizations

Professor Preston Williams

Preston Williams to Receive 2021 Harvard Medal

April 14, 2021

The Harvard Alumni Association announced that HDS Professor Preston N. Williams, PhD ’67, will receive the 2021 Harvard Medal. Williams, Houghton Professor of Theology and Contemporary Change Emeritus, was the first tenured African American faculty member of HDS and the first to lead the School when he was acting dean from 1974 to 1975. He was also the founding director of Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute.

Zion Church in Iowa. Photo by Getty Images

Fewer Americans Belong to a House of Worship. What's Filling the God Gap?

April 14, 2021
"As people are leaving formal institutions—they're no longer members of a congregation—it doesn't mean that their spirituality no longer exists. They're still looking for community. They're still looking for mentorship and intergenerational connection. And for most of them they still believe in God or a higher power," says Casper ter Kuile, HDS Ministry Innovation Fellow.

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