HDS Articles and Multimedia Relevant to the Boston Bombings

HDS Responds
Harvard President Drew Faust and Rev. Jonathan Walton, HDS professor and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church.

Harvard Divinity School has collected some thoughts and analysis from faculty, students, and colleagues relevant to the April 15 attack in Boston. Our hope is that these works give perspective on the events, bring the HDS community together, and/or provide some comfort for those trying to move forward. 


Harvard, HDS Respond to Boston Bombings | Dean Hempton, Harvard scholars discuss how the attack at the Boston Marathon affects us all.

Faith in Boston | HDS student Christopher Lisee, writing in the Washington Post on how faith communities in Boston are responding to Monday's tragic violence.

HDS alumnus Joshua Eaton writes on Terror, Torture, and Resistance | "I wanted to meet with friends, to write my feelings down, to pray. But my legs wouldn't move. My pen fell silent, and the first words of a prayer caught in my throat like dust." 

A Race, a Bomb, and a Dark Revelation | HDS grad Bill Bradford: "I know America is not as safe as it used to be a generation ago. I know that people, some of them our soldiers and some of them natives, daily face this dread in faraway deserts....I could rationally understand the violent statistics of an IED, but I could never imagine it."

The Fog of Religious Conflict | HDS Dean David N. Hempton reflects on religious and ethnic conflict, drawing on his formative experience living through the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Q&A with Jocelyne Cesari: Islam and Democracy | "The different images of Islam (violence, fanaticism, etc.) still used today are in fact part of the historical confrontation between Muslim societies and Europe in the Mediterranean area. You have to go back to medieval times to understand how this opposition between the West and Islam has been constructed."

Interfaith Moments | Transformative interfaith dialogue is more likely to occur when people of faith encounter one another as fellow travelers.

Teaching a Tragedy | Harvard panelists said that a broad cultural and religious literacy, a historical context, and a focus on empathy are all important elements of teaching 9/11 in the classroom.

Fostering Global Understanding | Scholars ponder how to improve relations between Mideast and West.

Rethinking Islam from Pakistan to Texas | Ali Asani and Diane Moore spearheaded an initiative aimed at defeating "a clash of ignorances," a clash, they affirm, that perpetuates misunderstanding, prejudice, and fear between Muslim and Western societies.

Choosing Words over Bullets | Gustav Niebuhr writes that the grassroots efforts of citizens to build interfaith communities is a social good that helps to hold our nation together.


Looking for a Witness | "Lord, we need you." The Rev. Jonathan L. Walton's sermon on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21, in the Memorial Church.


My Neighbor's Faith: A Critical Conversation | A conversation between the Center for the Study of World Religions at HDS and Harvard's Pluralism Project, focused on the new book My Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation.

Religion in the Age of Pluralism | What everyone needs to know in a new era of faith and globalization.

Muslims, Christians, and Interfaith Dialogue | Upon her retirement in 2012, this special event was convened to recognize Jane I. Smith, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, for her years of service to HDS.

Contours of Common Ground | As part of Harvard University's Interfaith Awareness Week in 2012, the Pluralism Project and the Center for the Study of World Religions at HDS hosted a panel discussion on February 7 about what it means to build "common ground" in interfaith work.