The latest book by Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017, is a departure from his previous work as a historian. Writing for a public rather than scholarly audience, he draws on personal and familial experiences from across generations to argue that ongoing settler colonial violence is supplanting Palestinians and erasing their historical belonging to their land.
Khalidi discusses his book with Rosie Bsheer, Assistant Professor...
The Harvard Divinity School launched a new program in Religion and Public Life this month, its first new degree program in 50 years.
The program is aimed at studying the ways religion and civic life interact, said Jacob K. Olupona, a professor of African Religions jointly appointed at the Divinity School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who will teach courses as part of the RPL program. It includes both degree-granting and certificate-granting components, as well as a series of public speaker events, panels, and webinars.
When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court, her religious identity as a conservative, charismatic Catholic immediately became a subject of intense scrutiny. On one level, the American public and their representatives in Congress were interested in how Barrett’s religious commitments might influence her judicial work. But on another level, the public conversation about Barrett’s identity reveals the internal diversity of how American Catholics think about what it means to be a Catholic woman, mother, and even feminist.
Harvard Divinity School launched this week Religion and Public Life (RPL), a new initiative and degree program with the core mission to advance the public understanding of religion in service of a just world at peace. The master of religion and public life (MRPL) is the first new degree program at HDS in 50 years, since it introduced the master of theological studies.... Read more about Understanding Religion and Public Life
This lesson illustrates the key principles of internal diversity, historical change, and cultural embeddedness using Erik Braun’s article about Burmese meditation vis-à-vis British colonialism. The story of how British colonialism in Burma shaped the way meditation was taught and practiced in Burma, as well as its subsequent export to the United States, is a clear object-lesson in the tenets of religious literacy.
As the 2020 presidential election nears, Lauren R. Kerby and Jeff Sharlet discussed the politics of white evangelicals in the U.S. today. Kerby's book, Saving History: How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation's Capital and Redeem a Christian America, offers a starting point for this important conversation about how race, nationalism, and Christianity become entangled for many white evangelicals through what they learn from their leaders about American history.
Their political commitments are baffling to many observers, but this conversation will explore how white...
"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—and the racism pandemic we have been fighting since my ancestors arrived from the West Coast of Africa, I am reminded that there is so much that we don’t know," says Melissa Wood Bartholomew, Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at HDS.
Sharing excerpts from her novel The Book of Disappearance, Palestinian author and journalist Ibtisam Azam gives insight into the experiences of Palestinian citizens of Israel and the changing generational connections to the land. Through stories of Jaffa past and present, Azam’s work demonstrates the role storytelling plays in the transmission of identity and culture.
As discussant and RCPI Associate Director and Senior Fellow Hilary Rantisi describes, Azam taps into the engraved memory that is a critical part of how Palestinians’ experiences and identity are passed...
How can narratives serve as sites for critical justice work and peacebuilding? What can Jewish tradition offer anti-occupation social justice movements? These are some of the many pertinent questions explored by Atalia Omer in her latest book, “Days of Awe: Reimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians.” In this webinar, Omer discusses the aim of the book in which she traces the diverse social movements which have shaped the development of American Jewish solidarity with Palestinians, in conversation with Rabbi Brant Rosen and Dr. Sara Roy.
On September 8-9, 2020, academics across the country, including faculty and staff at the Religious Literacy Project, are participating in teach-ins for racial justice known as the #ScholarStrike. I assigned these readings from James Baldwin, Patricia Hill Collins, and Tressie McMillan Cottom to my students at Harvard Divinity School to start our semester studying the history of education and religion in the U.S. For others interested in these questions, I offer them as resources for thinking about how critical pedagogy can serve the goals of racial justice.
On September 8-9, 2020, academics across the country, including faculty and staff at the Religious Literacy Project, are participating in teach-ins for racial justice known as the #ScholarStrike. As part of our contribution, we offer this lesson plan about American Christians’ responses to Donald Trump and the George Floyd protests as a resource for teachers seeking ways to connect religion and race in their discussions of current events.
This lesson uses two different images of Christopher Columbus to challenge students to move beyond how they may have been taught to think about violence and peace. It asks them to identify cultural violence and cultural peace in images that may challenge what they think of as violent or peaceful. This lesson presumes students have been introduced to Johan Galtung’s theory of cultural violence and peace.
Stand-up comedian, activist, and 2019-20 Visiting Fellow in Conflict and Peace Noam Shouster contracted COVID-19 on her return voyage to Israel. Her recordings and reflections on her experience, in particular in one of Israel's "Coronavirus Hotels" attracted international media attention:... Read more about Hotel Coronavirus
More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults know the definition of atheist (87%) and what's commemorated on Easter Sunday (81%). Just over half could tell you the "religion of Joseph Smith" (58%). However, when it comes to questions about religious demographics or Buddhist or Hindu beliefs, confusion is widespread.... Read more about Can You Pass a Basic Religious Knowledge Quiz?
In advance of the U.S. Department of State’s 3-day Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in July 2019, HDS published an interview with Dr. Moore providing context, critique and recommendations for how the US might better serve the fundamental aims of promoting justice and human rights, including rights associated with religious freedom.
“There are rarely opportunities for teachers themselves to be trained in the academic study of religion, to be able to teach those hot-button, volatile issues well,” says RPL director Diane Moore. “The key, and it’s not that profound, is to give teachers … tools to teach religion in a responsible and constitutionally sound way.”... Read more about Religion in School Can Be Complicated. So Teachers Went to Class.