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Rana Khoury, 2021-22 Fellow in Conflict and Peace

Palestinian Sumoud as Indigenous Hope: RCPI Fellow Rana Khoury's Civic Engagement Curriculum

December 17, 2021

As a Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative Fellow in Harvard Divinity School’s Religion and Public Life program, Rana Khoury is developing a civic engagement curriculum aimed at Palestinian students in higher education. The curriculum’s philosophy follows RPL Director Diane L. Moore’s framework that “religious influences are embedded in all aspects of human experience.” Khoury explains that “Religion, therefore, in addition to culture and the arts, plays an important mediating role in facilitating dialogue and...

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Nov 9 Image

Video: The Decolonizing Rubric: Modernity, Religion and Re-imagining Palestine/Israel

November 9, 2021

No longer do scholarly accounts of Palestine/Israel presume the “two-state solution” as a tangible political principle, if they are realists, or accountable for historical injustice and imagining of alternative futures, if they are concerned with justice, not only peace. This panel featured a conversation among authors of recent scholarly works that grapple with the changing paradigm of analysis with decolonial sensitivities. The panelists discussed the ethical limits of a paradigm based on ethnoreligious and national segregationist logic and illuminated where religion might fit (or not) in alternative political paradigms that undo exclusionary nationalist ideological frames.

This event took place on November 9, 2021.... Read more about Video: The Decolonizing Rubric: Modernity, Religion and Re-imagining Palestine/Israel

Maya Pace, MTS '23

‘How Do We Go Towards Our Future Together?’

November 8, 2021

In the fall of 2021, Professor Diane Moore is teaching a seminar that works in tandem with Terry Tempest Williams’ “Weather Reports” conversation series.

Maya Pace and Owen Yager, both first-year master of theological studies degree candidates currently in Professor Moore’s course, spoke about the class and the conversation series, and how the two work in tandem to bring up deeply important conversations for both Owen and Maya’s work.

Journalist and Professor Michael Pollan

Chance of sun in Michael Pollan’s climate forecast

November 2, 2021

The climate forecast, according to Michael Pollan, is “cloudy, with a 60 percent chance of apocalypse.” However, Michael Pollan tells The Harvard Gazette that human behavior can be changed if you give people hope. “If there is anything you can point them to, you’re doing them a service; you’re doing the issue a service,” he said.

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

These Are The Iconic Magazine Covers That Defined A Teen Vogue Editor’s Career

October 27, 2021

Phillip Picardi, the former Teen Vogue editor and Them founder, is now a master’s student at Harvard Divinity School and runs a popular newsletter, "Religiously Blonde," and podcastUnholier Than Thou. In a conversation with BuzzFeed News, Picardi looks at the intersection of religion, spirituality, and culture and shares 10 images that inspired the trajectory of his...

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Defragmenting Palestine: Breaking the Barriers from Sheikh Jarrah to Lydda, Gaza, and Beyond

Video: Defragmenting Palestine: Breaking the Barriers from Sheikh Jarrah to Lydda, Gaza, and Beyond

October 5, 2021

Taking as a starting point the May 2021 Palestinian general strike, the first since 1936, this panel examined the struggle to defragment Palestinian experiences as in itself a form of decolonial practice of resistance and reimagining Palestinian spaces, identities, belongings, and histories outside Israeli fragmentary politics.... Read more about Video: Defragmenting Palestine: Breaking the Barriers from Sheikh Jarrah to Lydda, Gaza, and Beyond

When Politics Are Sacralized book cover

Video: When Politics are Sacralized: Comparative Perspectives on Religious Claims and Nationalism

September 28, 2021

Authors of the new edited book, "When Politics Are Sacralized" (Cambridge University Press, 2021), reflect on how religious claims undergird and obscure settler colonial realities and why and how religious and political claims are fused to produce and entrench state violence.... Read more about Video: When Politics are Sacralized: Comparative Perspectives on Religious Claims and Nationalism

Silwan

Video: Between the Sacred and the Profane in Contemporary Jerusalem: The case of Silwan

September 21, 2021

This panel of scholars and activists included Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Hebrew University, Nadav Weiman, Breaking the Silence, and Toufic Haddad, Kenyon Institute. They examined the case of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan and the plans to establish the City of David theme Park in its place. Panelists discussed the role of biblical landscapes and settlers’ theologies in contemporary entrenchment of violence. They focused on convergences of secular, settler, and Kahanist ideologies and their manifestations in the realities of displacement and erasure in East...

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Boston Vaccine Day

Boston Vaccine Day Held In Roxbury

September 19, 2021

"Reverend Erica Williams with the Harvard Divinity School told people at the event that getting vaccinated is not just a public health issue, but a political one. She encouraged them to get others vaccinated and to stand up."

“Right here in Roxbury, you got over 48% of the folks living in poverty,” Williams said. “It’s not enough for you to talk about what’s going on.”

A soldier stands guard at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan on December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Wilson/Pool.

Could the U.S. Government Take Nonviolence Seriously?

September 3, 2021

Peacebuilding efforts need to take into account a region’s religious landscape . . . Baked into the international system and into diplomacy, especially in the West, is a great deal of simplistic and often biased thinking about religion. . . . Religion is complicated and not inherently a positive or negative element in violent disputes,” said Susan Hayward, associate director of the religious literacy and the professions initiative at HDS.

 

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Diane Moore speaks on religion and public life

Divinity School Launches New Degree Programs

August 19, 2021

Harvard Divinity School long focused on preparing religious leaders and training religious scholars, this fall adds a third mission. It is launching its first new master’s degree program in more than 50 years, the master of religion and public life (MRPL), a comprehensive program of training professionals for practice in other realms.

Religion and Public Life

Religion and Public Life Announces 2021-22 Fellows

June 11, 2021

Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) today announced its 2021-22 fellows. This inaugural cohort of expert practitioners bring deep expertise and social justice commitments to a range of professions (government, education, journalism, organizing, and media and entertainment) and issues (racial justice, climate change, immigration advocacy, and Native and Indigenous rights).

The 2021-22 Religion and Public Life Fellows will join HDS in the fall to help launch the new...

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jerusalem declaration on antisemitism logo

Video: The Politics of Defining: A Roundtable Discussion about the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism

May 17, 2021

An alternative to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), the recent Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) endorsed by scholars of antisemitism, Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies, and Middle East Studies challenges the politicization and litigation of antisemetism by rearticulating what is and is not antisemitism.... Read more about Video: The Politics of Defining: A Roundtable Discussion about the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism

Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: Don't Ignore the Religious Dimensions by Susan Hayward, RPL Fellow

Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: Don't Ignore the Religious Dimensions by Susan Hayward, RPL Fellow

May 10, 2021

The 2007 democratic uprising in Myanmar looked a lot different from the current anti-coup resistance. Sparked by a rise in fuel prices that created further economic burden on an already struggling population, thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns across the country took to the streets in defiance of the military. In a country in which religious actors, institutions, practices, and ideas are deeply influential, the so-called Saffron Revolution, the most recent mass mobilization prior to the...

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lauren kerby

Lauren Kerby leaving HDS

May 6, 2021

Dr. Lauren R. Kerby, the RPL’s religious literacy specialist, will be leaving HDS in early May. In her five years at HDS, including three years in her full-time role, Lauren has played a key role in the design and implementation of the Religious Literacy and Education Initiative, and more broadly within our work across professions. She has also served as a lecturer at HDS and has mentored numerous students seeking to engage the complex role of...

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Torah scroll

Video: Reimagining and Rewriting Jewish Liturgy

April 28, 2021

This conversation featured RCPI Topol Fellow Rabbi Brant Rosen and Professor Susannah Heschel, and was moderated by RCPI Senior Fellow Professor Atalia Omer.

Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago, a non-Zionist congregation, discussed with Professor Susannah Heschel his effort to reimagine Jewish liturgy, community, and meanings beyond Zionist frames. They also examined what it means to (re)write and write anew Jewish prayers that address the realities of Jewish power and complicity with violence, and how the concept of exile/diaspora originated and functioned in Jewish history...

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What’s New About the New B’Tselem Report: A Moment of Moral Clarity

Video: What’s New About the New B’Tselem Report: A Moment of Moral Clarity

March 9, 2021

The latest B’Tselem report discussing the conditions of apartheid in Israel and the occupied territories has been met with varying support and critique. Sam Bahour, Diana Buttu, Hagai El-Ad, and Orly Noy analyze the importance and implications of the report and the language of apartheid more broadly. Illuminating the internal Palestinian debate over the usefulness of apartheid language, the impact of apartheid on Israeli...

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Geographer and seed saver Linda Quiquivx with Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative Fellow Vivien Sansour

RCPI Event Video: How Indigenous Wisdom Can Help Us Design An Autonomous Future of Food

February 26, 2021

Across the globe, the importance of food sovereignty is central to indigenous cultures. Vivien Sansour and Linda Quiquivix discuss the importance of linking the two, and how an understanding of food systems and indigenous rootedness in the land is key to unpacking systems of power and oppression these communities face. Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, and Quiquivix, a geographer and educator, draw connections between the communities they both study and represent by centering storytelling as a way of reclaiming identity and belonging in relationship to the land.... Read more about RCPI Event Video: How Indigenous Wisdom Can Help Us Design An Autonomous Future of Food

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