Further books

Author biography

George H. Williams


Professor George H. Williams was for almost 50 years employed by Harvard University and its Divinity School and was, lastly, Hollis Professor of Divinity.
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Editor biography

Rodney L. Petersen


Rodney L. Petersen, PhD, is Executive Director of the Boston Theological Institute.
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Rodney L. Petersen (Ed.), George H. Williams

Divinings: Religion at Harvard

From its Origins in New England Ecclesiastical History to the 175th Anniversary of The Harvard Divinity School, 1636–1992

2. Edition 2014
1414 pages
ISBN 978-3-525-55056-4
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
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Harvard has often been referred to as “godless Harvard.” This is far from the truth. In fact, one problem addressed is the fact that Harvard is and always has been concerned about religion. This volume addresses the reasons for this. In fact, the story of religion at Harvard is in many ways the story of religion in the United States. This edition will clarify this relationship. Furthermore, the question of religion is central not only to the religious history of Harvard but to its very corporate structure and institutional evolution. The volume is divided in three parts and deals withthe Formation of Harvard College in 1636 and Evolution of a Republic of Letters in Cambridge (“First Light”, Chapters 1–5); Religion in the University, the Foundations of a Learned Ministry and the Development of the Divinity School (The “Augustan Age”, Chapters 6–9); and the Contours of Religion and Commitment in an Age of Upheaval and Globalization (“Calm Rising Through Change and Through Storm”, Chapters 10–12).
The story of the central role played by religion in the development of Harvard is a neglected factor in Harvard’s history only touched upon in the most cursory fashion by previous publications. There is, frankly, no other book like this one – and ittells that story as embedded in American culture and subject to intense and continuing academic study throughout the history of the University to this day.
Replete with extensive footnotes, this edition will be a treasure to future historians, persons interested in religious history and in the development of theology, at first clearly Reformed and Protestant, later ecumenical and interfaith.

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