Bicentennial Exhibit

Faces of Divinity

Envisioning Inclusion for 200 Years

Photo by Justin Knight

Faces of Divinity tells the story of Harvard Divinity School since its founding in 1816. It brings together student experience, faculty work, and University initiatives to uncover the roots of the school we have become in the twenty-first century: a multireligious, multidisciplinary center of academic excellence, religious scholarship, and service to the community and wider world. The exhibit explores the development of Harvard Divinity School through a series of themes, including: theology and ethics, history, and Unitarian and Universalist traditions, as well as Jewish, Asian, Islamic, African American, and women’s religious studies, ministry training, preaching, and social justice. Faces of Divinity includes twenty-one exhibits of photographs, poetry, paintings, and audiovisual materials situated throughout three of the Divinity School’s buildings.

The images and captions here are a small sample from the Faces of Divinity exhibit. The exhibit section is noted at the beginning of each caption. Additional information about these images, and many more, can be seen on the HDS campus until May 2017. The full exhibit was curated by Ann Braude, Senior Lecturer on American Religious History and director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at HDS; graduate research assistants Christopher Allison, Katie Bandera, Eva Payne, and Thomas Whittaker; and Tracy Wall, WSRP coordinator. It was designed by Justin Lee and edited by Kathryn Dodgson.

Photo of a group of HDS faculty in their academic robes

Nonsectarian to Multireligious. Professor Richard R. Niebuhr, Visiting Professor Reinhold Niebuhr, Dean Samuel Miller, and Elinor (Bunn) Thompson prepare for Convocation. Dick Niebuhr taught at HDS from 1956 to 1999. Andover-Harvard Theological Library Photograph.


Group of five women standing together on the HDS campus

Women, Gender, and Religion. Five of the first women students at HDS: Joyce Mann, HDS ’55, Emily Thornton Gage, BD ’57, Constance Parvey, BD ’63, Letty Russell, STB ’58, and Marianka Fousek, ThD ’60. Photo from the Boston Herald, Thursday, September 29, 1955.


Wilfred Cantwell Smith standing in front of a chalkboard with Arabic writing on it

Islamic Studies. Wilfred Cantwell Smith brought the study of Islam in its sociopolitical contexts to HDS when he was hired as the director of the Center for the Study of World Religions in 1964. Center for the Studies of World Religions Photograph.


Lamin Sanneh at the podium in the Braun Room

African and African American Studies. A scholar of world Christianity as well as African indigenous traditions and Islam, Lamin Sanneh taught at HDS as assistant and associate professor of the history of religions from 1981 to 1989. Drawing on his work on Christianity in West Africa and elsewhere, Sanneh has argued that Christianity is not owned by the West, either in its past or in its future. HDS photograph.


Photo of Nancy Richardson teaching a class

Learning the Ministry. The first associate dean of ministry studies (1993 to 2003), Nancy Richardson’s appointment brought stability and vision to the MDiv program. Passionate about antiracism work as well as feminist theology and urban ministry, Richardson had been mentored by Dorothy Height and Valerie Russell in the YWCA. HDS photograph.


Alan Watts surrounded by students and faculty in the Braun Room

Nonsectarian to Multireligious. Alan Watts, center, is flanked on the left by Harvey Cox and on the right by Leonard Bernstein, Norton Professor of Poetry that year (1972), and by a crowd of students in the Braun Room. Harvard Divinity Bulletin photograph.

Photo of a the Dalai Lama touching Robert Thurman's hands as he bows

Center for the Study of World Religions. In 1979, the fourteenth Dalai Lama made his first trip to the United States. His final stop was at Harvard, where he gave a lecture in Sanders Theatre and taught a seminar to HDS students in Andover Chapel. Here, he is pictured with Robert Thurman, AB ’62, AM ’69, PhD ’72, an affiliate of the CSWR in 1978–79. Center for the Study of World Religions Photograph.


Katie Cannon speaking to an audience in the Braun Room, with Preston Williams at the table next to her

Women, Gender, and Religion. The first African American woman ordained as a minister in the United Presbyterian Church in 1974, Katie Geneva Cannon’s work helped to popularize Alice Walker’s term “womanist.” Cannon worked on her best-known book, Katie’s Canon, as a WSRP Research Associate, 1987–88. HDS photograph.


Two men walking through the hallway of a Harvard building

African and African American Studies. The Ooni of Ifè, His Royal Majesty Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II, on left, visited Harvard in 2008, together with ten other Yoruba kings, for a conference convened by Professor Jacob Olupona, at right, on Ifè divination. Harvard University News Office Photograph.


Two Buddhist monks filling in the edges of a sand mandala

Asian Religions. In 2008, Geshe Kalsang and Venerable Phuntsok from the Gaden Shartse Monastery sift colored sand to create a mandala of compassion at the CSWR. HDS photograph/Kristie Welsh.

Ministers with arms linked march down the street

Unitarians, Universalists, and HDS. Dana McLean Greeley (1908–86), BS ’31, STB ’33, second from left, marches with clergy to the funeral of James Reeb, a UU minister and member of Arlington Street Church slain in Selma, Alabama, March 11, 1965. In 1966, Greeley invited Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver the Ware Lecture at the General Assembly of the UUA. “Don’t Sleep through the Revolution,” King urged. Pressing the church “to move out into the arena of social action,” he recalled student days when he heard Greeley preach at Arlington Street. Andover-Harvard Theological Library Photograph.

Pair of archival photographs, one showing a smiling immigrant and the other an elderly couple

Theology and Ethics. The Social Museum was founded in 1903 by Francis Greenwood Peabody, Dean of the Divinity School and Preacher to the University. Peabody commissioned photographers to go to sites of social unrest, “to collect the social experience of the world. . . . ” The collection’s 6,000 photographs, maps, and charts became the core of ethics instruction for Divinity School and Harvard College students, used to turn their gaze to a world in need and inspire action. Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum © President and Fellows of Harvard College. Immigration (left): This photograph documents a European immigrant’s moment of happiness after hearing that his order for deportation had been revoked. Aging (right): Before Social Security and Medicare, crushing poverty and inadequate health care were the norm for lower-class elders. This couple was given meals and a small room at the New York City Home for the Aged and Infirm. Here, they are depicted taking their daily exercise.

Man draped in American Flag, leaning away from flag pole, yelling towards the camera

Religion and Social Justice. When the Harvard campus erupted in political protest in the spring of 1969, Stephan Hornberger, MDiv ’70, was elected to lead the HDS student organization on a platform of radically reorganizing the governance of the School. Here, he occupies the roof of Andover Hall wrapped in an American flag, holding a ball that reads, “All Power to the People,” cradled by a Bible. Andover-Harvard Theological Library Photograph.

Protest march, with woman holding up signs reading "Lesbian Rights Now"

Religion and Social Justice. This 1993 photo shows Bernadette Brooten, Associate Professor of New Testament, with a group from HDS at the third GLBT March on Washington. Marchers’ demands included an end to discrimination by state and federal governments, including the military, and increased funding for HIV/AIDS education and research. Photo courtesy Bernadette Brooten.

HDS volunteers standing in front of a damaged house in New Orleans with a sign reading "I am coming home! I will rebuild!"

Religion and Social Justice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, HDS students, faculty, and staff made two spring break service trips to Mississippi and Louisiana, in 2006 and 2007. HDS photograph.

HDS student crouched down in an empty garden with two children, all holding gardening tools

Religion and Social Justice. Jack Hasegawa, MTS ’68, plans a strawberry garden with children at the Cooper Community Center in Roxbury, his field education site. Born while his family was held in an internment camp during World War II, Hasegawa came to HDS after working as a civil rights organizer in Georgia through the Methodist Church. Andover-Harvard Theological Library photograph.

Young man leaning against the border wall

Religion and Social Justice. During the 2015 course “Border Crossing: Immigration in America,” students met with the family of José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, who was shot and killed in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, by a Border Patrol agent standing on the Arizona side. In this photo, William Sanchez, MDiv ’16, views the spot where Rodríguez died. Photo by Shrestha Singh.


Woman standing next to a colorful dragon dance mask

Faces of Divinity. Rev. Cheng Imm Tan, ’86, founded two organizations to respond to the needs of Asian American women: New England’s only Asian domestic violence shelter program, and, in 1998, Gund Kwok, the only women’s Lion Dance and Dragon Dance Troupe in the United States. Mayor Thomas Menino asked her to be the first director of the Office of New Bostonians, the first in the country to provide refugee and immigrant communities a voice in municipal government; this model has been emulated nationwide. Photo by Anh Ðào Kolbe/, courtesy Gund Kwok.


Military chaplain holding a bible and kneeling next to flag-draped coffins in the back of an airplane

Learning the Ministry. U.S. Army Chaplain Karen Meeker, MDiv ’94, conducts the Fallen Hero ceremony in Bagram, Afghanistan, on board a transport aircraft in 2013. Photo courtesy Karen Meeker.

Photo of performers in traditional dress, drumming and singing at a PowWow on the Harvard campus

Faces of Divinity. A member of the Maskoke Nation, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, MTS ’10, left, is the youngest native speaker of the Maskoke language, which he taught at the University of Oklahoma. “The decolonization of the mind for indigenous peoples begins with language acquisition,” he says. “All of our worldviews are encompassed in our respective languages.” Here, Briggs-Cloud sings at the 15th annual Harvard Pow Wow in 2010. Photo courtesy María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa.


Groups of HDS students posing in front of a statue

Religion and Social Justice. Irene Routte, MTS ’14, front row second from right, organized a student trip to Ferguson, Missouri, during the protests after the police killing of Michael Brown. “There were things I saw in Ferguson that I would not have believed were true if I had not been present; from the excessive militarization of the police to the overwhelming openness and solidarity between community residents and outsider,” she reflected. Photo by Anthony Sylvester.


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