338 episodes

Expand your understanding of the ways religion shapes the world with lectures, interviews, and reflections from Harvard Divinity School.

Harvard Divinity Schoo‪l‬ Harvard Divinity School

    • Education

Expand your understanding of the ways religion shapes the world with lectures, interviews, and reflections from Harvard Divinity School.

    What Black History Month in 2021 Means for a Rising Spiritual and Ethical Movement

    What Black History Month in 2021 Means for a Rising Spiritual and Ethical Movement

    A conversation with pastor, professor, and policy influencer Quardricos Driskell about whether Black History Month has taken on new significance in 2021. We also chat about avoiding complacency around racial justice issues now that the Trump presidency is over, how the Black Lives Matter movement can continue its momentum by working across generational divides, and why Democrats running for political office should talk more openly about their faith.

    Full transcript here: https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2021/02/12/what-black-history-month-2021-means-rising-spiritual-and-ethical-movement

    • 30 min
    Making Meaning in 2021 at the Crossroads of Business and Capitalism, Ethics, Faith, and Justice

    Making Meaning in 2021 at the Crossroads of Business and Capitalism, Ethics, Faith, and Justice

    The HDS Office of Development and External Relations was pleased to host "Virtual Voices of Divinity: Making Meaning in 2021 at the Crossroads of Business and Capitalism, Ethics, Faith, and Justice," on February 2, 2021.

    Featured speakers included:

    John P. Brown, MBA '74, MDiv '88, Practitioner in Residence in Religion, Business Ethics, and the Economic Order, HDS

    Katherine Collins, MTS '11, Head of Sustainable Investing, Putnam Investments

    Karim Hutson, MBA '03, MTS '08, Founder & Managing Member, Genesis Companies

    Al-Husein Madhany, MTS '01, Head of Global People Operations, Moveworks.ai.

    Full transcript available on the HDS website: https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2021/02/11/video-making-meaning-2021-crossroads-business-and-capitalism-ethics-faith-and-justice

    • 58 min
    Psychedelics: The Ancient Religion with No Name?

    Psychedelics: The Ancient Religion with No Name?

    The most influential religious historian of the twentieth century, Huston Smith, once referred to it as the "best-kept secret" in history. Did the ancient Greeks use drugs to find God? And did the earliest Christians inherit the same secret tradition? A profound knowledge of visionary plants, herbs, and fungi passed from one generation to the next, ever since the Stone Age?

    This discussion on Febrary 1, 2021, between CSWR Director Charles Stang and Brian Muraresku about his new book, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, a groundbreaking dive into the role of psychedelics in the ancient Mediterranean world.

    Full transcript here: https://cswr.hds.harvard.edu/news/2021/02/12/video-psychedelics-ancient-religion-no-name

    • 1 hr 26 min
    How Joe Biden’s Faith Will Shape His Presidency

    How Joe Biden’s Faith Will Shape His Presidency

    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.”

    I’m Jonathan Beasley, and this is a special pop-up episode of the Harvard Religion Beat. Today, I’m chatting with E. J. Dionne, who many of you likely know as a journalist, author, and political commentator. He also teaches at Georgetown and here at Harvard and HDS. And just before the election he co-authored the report "A Time to Heal, A Time to Build," with Melissa Rogers for the Brookings Institution, where he is a senior fellow in Governance Studies.

    I wanted to speak with E. J. to get his insight into how Joe Biden’s Catholicism will shape the way he governs as president, and how his faith will serve as a road map for how his administration will tackle economic injustices, equal rights, religious freedom, and racial justice—all while trying to heal a very divided nation.

    Full transcript here: https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2021/1/19/how-joe-bidens-faith-will-shape-his-presidency

    Music credit: InSpectr, "After the Border" (Free Music Archive)

    • 31 min
    Welcome | Kerry A. Maloney, Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

    Welcome | Kerry A. Maloney, Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

    Seasons of Light is hosted by Harvard Divinity School's Office of Religious and Spiritual Life under the direction of Christopher Hossfeld, Director of Music and Ritual, and Kerry A. Maloney, Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life.

    The full video recording of Seasons of Light 2020 can be found on the HDS YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVuYb9d7tCc&t=587s

    Transcript: Good evening and welcome to this year’s Seasons of Light celebration at Harvard Divinity School. My name is Kerry Maloney, and I am the Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life here at HDS. Seasons of Light is our campus’ annual ritual to honor the unity of holy darkness and holy light in the world’s religious traditions that are represented on our campus.

    While we usually enjoy the deep intimacy of one another’s presence for this event, jammed into our largest sacred space on campus to share music, prayers, chants, and texts, this year, of course, due to the pandemic, we are scattered across the United States and around the globe. Nevertheless, we believe the power of our spiritual traditions enables us to transcend time and space to be truly together for this holy occasion—in a year when our unity and interdependence may never have mattered more.

    As we begin tonight, I invite you, if you haven’t yet had the chance to do so and if you are able, to dim the lights in the room from which you are joining us, perhaps lighting a candle or two to help you see. Also, please have near you if you can one unlit candle and the means by which to light it later in our ritual. Closed captioning is available throughout our gathering tonight. Please turn it on at the bottom of your screen if you would like to use it.

    I’m joining you tonight from Eastern Massachusetts, not far from the Harvard campus, where we are on the homelands of the Mashpee Wampanoag, Aquinnah Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Massachusett tribal nations. The Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness believes that land acknowledgment is a “meaningful step toward honoring the truth, making the invisible visible, and correcting the American stories that erase indigenous people’s tribal history and culture. Land Acknowledgements demonstrate a commitment to counter the Doctrine of Discovery and to undo the ongoing legacy of settler colonialism.” We acknowledge the painful history of genocide, stolen land, and forced removal; and we honor and stand in solidarity with the diverse indigenous communities who continue to have a connection with this land.

    Friends, we have gathered tonight in the midst of a harrowing year—political treachery and chaos, a long-overdue racial reckoning, a global pandemic that has stolen the lives of hundreds of thousands and shattered the security, hopes, and well-being of countless more. It is important that we are together tonight to pray and to meditate; to make beautiful music and to hear sacred texts; to rest in the deep, holy darkness; to kindle flames of hope and resistance; and to act together in solidarity with the marginalized. As we begin now, look around this digital room at your companions, your spiritual siblings far and near, and know you are not alone. Take a deep breath, and then another, and bless your capacity to breathe in a world where that ability cannot be taken for granted, not even one breath, especially by those who are black and brown. And center yourself in stillness for our brief time together. Let us feast on the darkness. Let us rejoice in the light.

    • 5 min
    Communal Invocation | Adapted from the poetry of Hafiz

    Communal Invocation | Adapted from the poetry of Hafiz

    Communal Invocation | Adapted from the poetry of Hafiz
    Read by Kerry A. Maloney and Xavier I. Sayeed, MTS I

    Seasons of Light is hosted by Harvard Divinity School's Office of Religious and Spiritual Life under the direction of Christopher Hossfeld, Director of Music and Ritual, and Kerry A. Maloney, Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life.

    The full video recording of Seasons of Light 2020 can be found on the HDS YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVuYb9d7tCc&t=587s

    TRANSCRIPT:

    One:Light will someday split you open even if your life is now a cage,

    All:for a divine seed, the crown of destiny, is hidden and sown
    on an ancient, fertile plain you hold the title to.

    One:Love will surely burst you wide open into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy

    All:even if your mind is now a spoiled mule.

    One:A life-giving radiance will come; the Friend's gratuity will come.

    All:O look again within yourself, for I know you were once
    the elegant host to all the marvels in creation.

    One:From a sacred crevice in your body a bow rises each night and shoots your soul into God.

    All:Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One from the lunar vantage point of love.

    One:That One is conducting the affairs of the whole universe

    All:while throwing wild parties in a tree house—on a limb in your heart.

    • 1 min

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