Dan McKanan

Dan McKanan
Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity

Contact information

dmckanan@hds.harvard.edu
617.496.2665
Divinity 415
Dierre Upshaw
617.384.8096

On leave

  • Academic year 2013-14

Education

  • AB, Harvard College
  • MDiv, Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • PhD, University of Chicago

Profile

Dan McKanan joined the Harvard Divinity School faculty in July 2008 as Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity, after teaching for 10 years at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University in Minnesota. His research focuses on religious movements for social transformation in the United States from the abolitionist era to the present, with a particular emphasis on the contributions liberal and esoteric religious traditions make to sociopolitical radicalism. He also teaches and writes on Unitarian Universalist history, theology, and ethics. His first book, Identifying the Image of God: Radical Christians and Nonviolent Power in the Antebellum United States (2002), explores theological understandings of violence and nonviolence among abolitionists, pacifists, and temperance activists. Touching the World: Christian Communities Transforming Society (2007) and The Catholic Worker After Dorothy: Practicing the Works of Mercy in a New Generation (2008) deal with the Camphill and Catholic Worker networks of intentional communities. Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition (2011), winner of the Frederic G. Melcher Book Award, is a general history of religion and the Left in the United States. Professor McKanan's current research explores economic and ecological themes in such esoteric traditions as Rosicrucianism, spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, and anthroposophy. He is also working to compile a new collection of primary sources for Unitarian Universalist history.

Current and future courses

Selected publications

  • Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition (Beacon Press, 2011) Publisher page
  • The Catholic Worker After Dorothy: Practicing the Works of Mercy in a New Generation (Liturgical Press, 2008) Publisher page
  • Touching the World: Christian Communities Transforming Society (Liturgical Press, 2007)
  • Identifying the Image of God: Radical Christians and Nonviolent Power in the Antebellum United States (Oxford University Press, 2002) Publisher page

Media expertise

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