Harvard Divinity Faculty Pushes For Reparations During ‘Religion And The Legacies Of Slavery’ Series

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Banners for Harvard Law School fly during the inauguration of Lawrence Bacow as the 29th President of Harvard University in Cambridge

Harvard Divinity Faculty Pushes For Reparations During ‘Religion And The Legacies Of Slavery’ Series

Kate Anderson on March 21, 2023

Harvard Divinity School (HDS) hosted a semester-long series on religion and slavery to discover how religion can enhance “commitment to reparative action,” in keeping with the school’s departure from traditional religious education, according to the event page.

The school has a long history of supporting and endorsing non-traditional approaches to religious schooling from embracing the transgender ideology, climate change and most recently slavery reparations, according to HDS’ website. The HDS series, titled “Religion and the Legacies of Slavery,” was hosted on Mondays from January 30 to March 20 by school faculty, according to the event page, with topics ranging from “white supremacy” to “slavery reparations,” in response to the recent 2022 Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery report.

The report found that the founders of Harvard University had been “powerfully shaped” by the “labor of enslaved women, men, and children.” In response, the school committed to acknowledging past wrongs and pushing for reparative measures or “slavery reparations” and the recent series from HDS attempted to further that goal into its training of religious scholars and ministers.

“How can a deeper understanding of the roles of religion enhance our commitment to reparative action in our contemporary times?” the event page read. “Expand your understanding of the complex history and continuing implications of slavery in service of advancing racial justice and healing in our own time and context.”

During one of the meetings, students examined the history of slavery in the early days of Christianity, arguing that it “permeate[d] Christian stories and teachings” in a variety of contexts, “aims and assumptions,” according to the event page. Professor of Divinity Karen King said in an article for the Harvard Crimson that the Bible does not have “a single coherent or consistent message about enslavement.”

On Feb. 6, HDS presented “Religion, Race and the Double Helix of White Supremacy,” during which presenters claimed that “racialist and religious orderings” had contributed to the founding of Harvard and have not been “sufficiently reckoned” with.

The 1619 Project, which has been widely criticized for viewing America’s founding through a racist lens, was also a topic of discussion, exploring the question: “What role does religion play in addressing the lingering ‘afterlives’ of African enslavement in the United States?”

The school was originally founded in 1816 to educate and train Christian ministers but data from 2017 found that only 40% of students are looking to move into the ministry field, according to the Havard Crimson. The school has slowly moved toward embracing a plethora of religions and emphasizing diversity, equity and inclusion.

HDS has similarly departed from traditional religious viewpoints, embracing the transgender ideology and regularly celebrating Pride Month, according to the school’s event pages. The school’s Master of Divinity program teaches social justice and climate activism as well as encouraging students who are “atheist, agnostic, or have embarked on their own spiritual formation” to join the program.

HDS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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