Carrasco to Join Faculty of Divinity

Davíd Carrasco joined the Faculty of Divinity in September 2001 as the inaugural Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America. Carrasco, who has been professor of the history of religions at Princeton University since 1993, is a world-renowned scholar of Mesoamerican religions with a wide range of interests in the contemporary and historical study of religions, ranging from Aztec religion to contemporary issues in Latino/a studies.

"I'm impressed with Mircea Eliade's insistence that scholars need to continually undergo 'deprovinicialization,' " Carrasco said. "I'm looking forward to expanding my own work in the study of religion at Harvard and hope to share a new awareness of Mesoamerican studies and the methodological power of the 'borderlands' to our discourse."

He will also be a member of the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and will be affiliated with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. The Rudenstine Professorship, which is funded through the Rockefeller Center, was awarded to the Divinity School in conjunction with the Department of Anthropology after a University-wide request for proposals for its use.

Carrasco received a PhD in the history of religions from the University of Chicago in 1977, under the direction of Eliade, Charles Long, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Paul Wheatley. His dissertation was later published as Quetzacoatl and the Irony of Empire by the University of Chicago Press in 1982. He is the author of three other books, most recently City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization (Beacon Press, 1999).

"I did my graduate work in a divinity school and am excited about the breadth and depth of Harvard's Divinity School faculty and student interests," he added. "The combination of profound interests in textual analysis, the nature of religious community, and comparative studies will enrich my teaching and research in many ways."

Carrasco is the founder and director of the Mesoamerican Archive, which will move with him to Harvard. Before joining the Princeton faculty, he taught at the University of Colorado. He will be joined in Cambridge by his wife, Lugene.

In addition to Carrasco and Robert Orsi, whose appointment as Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America was announced in the winter, new members of the Faculty of Divinity will also include Kevin Madigan, who taught at HDS in 2000-01 as a visitor from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has been named Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity.

A historian of medieval Christian religious practice and thought with a PhD from the University of Chicago, Madigan specializes in high-medieval scholastic biblical exegesis and theology, and has books forthcoming on the interpretation of the gospel of Matthew in the high Middle Ages and on high-medieval Christology. Recently, he has developed an interest on the role of the Catholic and Protestant churches during the Nazi period in Europe, and has published several articles on the Vatican and the Holocaust. His wife, Stephanie Paulsell, who has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago Divinity School, will be a Visiting Lecturer on Ministry at HDS.

It was also announced that David Lamberth will be promoted to Associate Professor of Theology. Lamberth will continue in his present role as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for one more year.