Past Events

Here is a partial listing of past events on religions and the practice of peace at Harvard University and beyond. Videos and audio-recordings are posted when available.

Videos of past RPP Colloquium sessions and RPP talks on special topics can also be found in the RPP Series Archive.

Veils and Pink Hats: Contemplation, Community, and Action in Anglican/Episcopal Women’s Religious Orders
February 20, 2018

The monastic life requires managing the tension between prophetic engagement and contemplative practice. Sr. Sarah Randall of the Society of St. Margaret will explore the landscape of Anglican Women’s religious orders, as well how this ancient vocation finds its expression in seeking social justice.

Sister Sarah Randall has been a member of the Society of St. Margaret, based in Duxbury, MA, since 2000. An alumna of the Episcopal Divinity School, she was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Massachusetts in 2011, and has served in Chelsea, MA, as well as with the Society of St. Margaret community that is based in Haiti.

This event is hosted by the Center for the Study of World Religions

The Islamic Jesus featuring: Mustafa Akyol
February 15, 2018

Religious tensions between Islam, Christianity and Judaism are some of the most complex, consequential and ominous challenges in today’s global community. Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish journalist and Muslim intellectual, offers an unexpected possibility for building bridges between the three Abrahamic faiths: the Islamic Jesus—that is Jesus as he shows up in the Qur’an. Come hear and discuss the “provocative,” “timely and important” insights from Akyol’s new book The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims.

Keeping Faith: Three Sisters of Story
February 12, 2018

Three exceptional storytellers, Rohina Malik, Susan Stone, and Kim Schultz, will share stories from their own faiths – Christian, Muslim and Jewish – to transcend differences through a shared belief in the power of compassion and connection.

 RPP Colloquium: Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Works: Highlighting the Power of Spiritually-Engaged Communities in Movements for Sustainable Peace
February 8, 2018

This colloquium explores some of the key challenges that nonviolent resistance movements face, including obstacles to building and maintaining movement cohesion, ensuring effective communication, and gaining political leverage; how advocates of principled nonviolence (who promote nonviolence on a moral basis) often clash with advocates of civil resistance (who promote nonviolent action on a strategic or utilitarian basis); the ongoing debate on diversity of tactics; and the ways in which power and privilege undermine solidarity. The colloquium highlights the power of women in these movements and addresses ways in which spiritually-engaged communities are well-positioned to address many of these key movement challenges.

Claiming God's Peace When Whiteness Stands Its Ground
February 7, 2018

The Center for the Study of World Religions’ Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice will be delivered by Kelly Brown Douglas. This lecture will examine the social/political and theological implications of whiteness as an impediment to living into God’s justice. Special attention will be given to the implications for the church as well as theological education.

Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary. Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1983, Douglas holds a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union. She is the author of many articles and five books, including Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God which was written in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Professor Douglas’s academic work focuses on womanist theology, sexuality, and the black church. She was formerly the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion at Goucher College.

RPP Colloquium: The Church as a Reconciling Presence in a World of Conflict: The Role of Religion in International Conflict Transformation
January 25, 2018

Is religion a cause of violent conflict or a catalyst for its transformation? Do faith leaders have a role at the international peacebuilding tables? Current international affairs highlight the power of religious ideologies—and their misappropriation—as a catalyst for social action. They have also prompted unprecedented interest in the role of religious leaders and ideologies to transform conflict and violence.

The keynote session of the fourth annual RPP Colloquium dinner series will feature Canon Sarah Snyder, PhD, Archbishop of Canterbury's Director of Reconciliation. She will be joined by colleagues in the field, who will share their experience of working in conflict zones and reflect on vital lessons for the contemporary world.

This event is hosted by the Center for the Study of World Religions

28th National Homeless Persons' Interfaith Memorial Service: The Longest Night Of The Year To Be Without A Home
December 21, 2017

Housed and un-housed people are all invited to celebrate and memorialize those we have lost in the past year. We will do this in music, prayer and stories as we read the names of all our marginalized neighbors we have lost to the streets. All faith traditions are encouraged to attend and faith leaders are asked to attire according to their tradition. A light meal will follow.

MLTalk: Transhumanism - Searching for the Spirit in the Machine
December 19, 2017

Artificial intelligence has become the catchphrase of our time, mediating great hopes and fears in anticipation of a new era in human history. Some expect that we’re going to merge with machines and upgrade ourselves into God-like beings with divine abilities of creation and destruction. Others fear that machines will surpass their human creators and take control over our world. We aim to scrutinize these perils as part of a larger, intercultural dialogue, where preconceived dualisms are challenged. 

The Narrative of Islamophobia in European Media
December 8, 2017

The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University Colloquium with Sana Haque, Pardee School of Global Studies. The first half of the session will include feedback on Sana's paper, and the second half will be her response. Sana Haque's paper aims to analyze the rhetoric on Islamophobia in Europe in traditional and new media. It also considers the counter-narrative developed by the Muslim community to undermine negative stereotypes. The paper argues against the idea that Muslims are passive in the face of Islamist terror and Islamophobia. This counter-narrative not only subverts stereotype but also builds understanding and allows Muslims to actively reshape their own identities. 

Prayer and Action in the Work of Justice
December 6, 2017

How can contemplative prayer motivate community activism? Can one live a monastic life while responding to the demand for justice in the world? And where does collaboration and movement building fit into it all? Join us for a conversation with Rev. Janie Walker, the co-pastoral director of Richmond Hill, an intentional Christian community committed to social justice in Richmond, Virginia.

How to ‘Love Thy Neighbor’: Lessons from Hegel on Conflict and Reconciliation
December 6, 2017

The Boston University Institute for Philosophy and Religion presents their 2017-2018 lecture series: Love and Hate. Fall 2017 marks the third and final year in a three-year exploration of the theological virtues and their opposites: faith and doubt, hope and despair, love and hate. These virtues have important resonances in classical philosophy and throughout the Western tradition of philosophical and religious reflection about what it means to live a good life. This is true of faith and hope, and is even more true of love. Aristotle said that no one would choose to live without friendship. Would anyone choose to live without love? What is love? How does it develop? How is it related to happiness? How is it related to hate? These questions, and others like them, lie at the heart of religious reflection in many different traditions. This series will explore the possibility of an answer. This lecture is given by Molly Farneth, Assistant Professor of Religion at Haverford College.

Tanner Lectures - Social Justice Action: How We Change the World
December 6, 2017

Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption‎, will deliver a lecture followed by a panel discussion. Panelists include Homi Bhabha, Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, Drew Faust, President, Harvard University, Nancy Gertner, Senior Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School, and Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Department of Philosophy, Harvard University. The event is sponsored by the Mahindra Center and the Office of the President at Harvard. It is free, but tickets are required.

Merrimack College Spirituality Series: Islamic Spirituality with Chaplain Shareda Hosein
December 5, 2017

Shareida Hosein served as the US Army's first female Muslim Chaplain. Join her and the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College for an evening of shared dialogue.

Kids4Peace Camp Information Session
Information session: December 3, 2017

Kids4Peace Boston is looking for Muslim, Jewish, and Christian current 6th and 7th graders to join us for 8 days of summer camp fun (swimming, boating, sports, hiking, arts and crafts and more) on the shores of a crystal-clear lake in the mountains of New Hampshire. The camp is open to youth who live in the greater Boston area and are in the 6th or 7th grade during the 2017-2018 school year. Kids4Peace campers are open-minded; like to try new experiences and make new friends; and are eager to share about their lives, cultures, and religious traditions. To learn more and submit an application, visit the camp's website.

When the Elders of Zion Relocated to Eurabia: Conspiratorial Racialisation in Antisemitism and Islamophobia
November 30, 2017

Zia-Ebrahimi builds on recent comparative research on antisemitism and Islamophobia to argue that the two display similar dynamics in representing their target population as a hostile race (a process referred to as ‘racialization’). His research suggests that conspiracy theories of the ‘world Jewish conspiracy’ type, and their Islamophobic equivalent, the ‘Islamisation of Europe’ type, are powerful enablers of racialization, something that the literature has so far neglected. To show the similar dynamics of what he calls ‘conspiratorial racialization’, Zia-Ebrahimi provides a textual comparison between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903) and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (2005). This event is hosted by the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program and the Center for the Study of World Religions.

Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif: Conflict, Culture, Law
November 28-29, 2017

Organized by the Julis-Rabinowitz Program  on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, this 2-day conference aims to explore several specific, interlocking aspects of the dynamic struggle to conceptualize, govern, and control the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif site. In particular, the goal is to illuminate the present and future of the site through analysis of its complex history, the evolving religious beliefs and practices that are attached to it, and the intricate legal frameworks in which it is enmeshed both at the present moment and in possible future configurations associated with a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine. The ultimate justification for this approach is the view that the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is an important lynchpin in a struggle of global importance, one that merits close attention and engagement by people everywhere. To achieve these goals, the conference will convene leading scholars of history, religion, culture, and international law to approach these questions from a range of directions.

Association of Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Launch, Lunch, and Workshop
November 17, 2017

You are invited to participate in the launch of the Association for Interreligious/Interfaith Studies (AIIS) at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual meeting taking place in Boston this November. In response to five years of successful growth and demand for opportunities to further explore this area through the IRIFS program unit at the AAR, AIIS is being established to foster study and scholarly exchange in the field of Interreligious/Interfaith Studies. This year will mark the first AIIS-sponsored workshop in collaboration with a number of existing organizations. Come to meet with colleagues and emerging scholars who share an interest in developing this area of study.

Registration is required to attend. The deadline to register is September 30, 2017; early registration is encouraged.

The Environment Forum at the Mahindra Center: Spiritual Ecologies: Sustainability and Transcendence in Contemporary Asia
November 16, 2017

The crisis of global modernity has been produced by human overreach that was founded upon a paradigm of national modernization. Today, three global changes: the rise of non-western powers, the crisis of environmental sustainability and the loss of authoritative sources of transcendence – the ideals, principles and ethics once found in religions -- define our condition. The physical salvation of the world is becoming the transcendent goal of our times, transcending national sovereignty. The foundations of sovereignty can no longer be sought in tunnelled histories of nations; we are recognizing that histories have always been circulatory and the planet is a collective responsibility.

Prasenjit Duara re-considers the values and resources in Asian traditions—particularly of China and India—that Max Weber found wanting in their capacity to achieve modernity. Several traditions in Asia, particularly in environmentally marginalized local communities offer different ways of understanding the relationship between the personal, ecological and universal. The idea of transcendence in these communities is more dialogical than radical or dualistic: separating God or the human subject from nature. Transnational civil society, NGOS, quasi-governmental and inter-governmental agencies committed to to the inviolability or sacrality of the "commons" are finding common cause with these communities struggling to survive.

Intra-and Interfaith Peace Building during a time of insurgency: Finding Consensus Among Muslims in Nigeria
November 16, 2017

As a part of the Critical Perspectives On The Development and Dynamics of Islam in Africa Lecture Series. Guest Speaker is Darren Kew, Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts Boston.

This event is cosponsored with the Department of African and African American Studies, the Center for African Studies, the Hutchins Center, and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Anthropology as Cosmic Diplomacy: Toward an Ecological Ethics for the Anthropocene
November 15, 2017

Forests think. This is neither a metaphor nor a cultural belief. There exists a kind of thinking, which I call “sylvan,” that is made exquisitely manifest by tropical forests and those that live with them. This kind of thought extends well beyond us humans and, in fact, holds our human forms of thinking. Thinking with the sylvan logics that thinking forests amplify can provide an ethical orientation—a mode of thought—that is adequate for these times of planetary human-driven ecological devastation that some call the “Anthropocene.” I here discuss three projects in and around the tropical forests of Ecuador whose goal is to capacitate sylvan thought. This research, which has brought me into collaboration with indigenous leaders and shamans, lawyers and conceptual artists, and even forest spirits and archaic pre-hispanic ceramic figures, has encouraged me to see my anthropological vocation as a kind of “cosmic diplomacy.” This form of diplomacy is “psychedelic” in so far as its goal is to make manifest the mind, manifesting the nature of sylvan thinking on whose behalf it advocates. Another word for this kind of emergent mind is “spirit.” I here explore alternative “sylvan” means to give voice to the spirits among us, and I trace the challenge this poses for how we should think about what it means to be human.

Eduardo Kohn is the author of the book How Forests Think, which has been translated into several languages. It won the 2014 Gregory Bateson Prize and is short-listed for the upcoming 2018 Prix littéraire François Sommer. His research continues to be concerned with capacitating sylvan thinking in its many forms. He teaches Anthropology at McGill University.

This event is hosted by The Center for the Study of World Religions

Human and Church Community and the Evil of Economic Inequality
November 14, 2017

This joint presentation examines the theological warrants for the centrality of community for human development and fulfillment. It also provides an ethical analysis of the challenge that economic inequality presents to the creation and maintenance of community, particularly a political community.

Confronting Racism: The Prophetic Politics of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
November 14, 2017

The Boston College Center for Christian-Jewish Learning presents this compelling lecture by Professor Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College.

Out of Our Minds: Empathy in International Conflict Resolution
November 13, 2017

The Herbert C. Kelman Seminar Series on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution presents: Matt Waldman

Matt Waldman is Director of the Center for Empathy in International Affairs, Adviser to the UN Special Representative for Somalia, and Associate Fellow of Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs. He specializes in high-level diplomacy, mediation and negotiation in armed conflict. He has served as an adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria (2014-15) and the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan (2011-12). He has also undertaken mediation work in the Middle East and Africa as a Senior Adviser at the European Institute of Peace and Special Adviser to Inter Mediate.

Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences
November 11, 2017

November 2 is the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which committed Great Britain to the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine without consulting the indigenous population. The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine and The Trans Arab Research Institute are organizing an all-day conference in Cambridge, MA to mark the centenary. Conference speakers will examine how the Zionist Project was implemented in historic Palestine, and consider its long-term consequences for Palestinians, world Jewry, the United States, the United Nations and international law.

Following an afternoon keynote address by Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, panels will focus on the potential for connecting struggles to build power and the challenges and opportunities of organizing for Palestinian rights in the Age of Trump. Action-oriented workshops will develop many of the themes laid out by panelists: building solidarity campaigns, anti-BDS legislation and how to get involved in changing US policy, the future of Zionism, campus organizing and Israel’s water wars.

The conference is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation at the door of $10 (or more if possible); lunch $5.

Mass Peace Action Active Hope Workshop
November 11, 2017

We live in an extraordinary moment on Earth. As we witness unprecedented destruction of ecological, biological, and social systems, we can feel overwhelmed by anger, fear and other difficult emotions. How can we remain resilient, creative, and empowered to act for the healing of our irreplaceable world?

The Work That Reconnects, developed by teacher/activist Joanna Macy and others, draws on deep ecology, systems theory, and engaged Buddhism. Practices include group meditations, ritual, conversation in pairs, dance, and song. We will explore spiritual, emotional and intellectual aspects of envisioning and creating a life-sustaining society.

This workshop is facilitated by members of the Boston-area Community of Practice.The event is free but there is a suggested donation of $5-$20.

Kinship Across Borders: Catholic Ethics and Migration
November 7, 2017

Dr. Kristen E. Heyer will be exploring the rhetoric and lenses that shape the quickly shifting immigration debate, which can distort complex realities and become surrogates for other cultural and political concerns. This lecture is presented by Boston College School of Continuing Education and School of Theology.

Understanding Political Polarization in the US
November 7, 2017

The fever pitch of US political polarization is unrelenting. The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present: Understanding Political Polarization in the US a talk with Susan Podziba (Podziba Policy Mediation) and Liz McClintock (CMPartners). Susan and Liz, mediation and conflict resolution experts, will share their thoughts on current societal dynamics based on their experiences in addressing complex conflict. Liz observes a likeness to the tribalism inherent to her work on ethnic conflict in Central Africa. Susan sees a clash of worldviews similar to religion-based conflicts, including her work with Massachusetts leaders of the pro-life and pro-choice movements. These observations prompted them to ask the question: Can we engage a civic fusion approach to addressing polarization whereby disputants bond across passionately different political positions and worldviews to address common public goals without sacrificing their core values? At this event, Susan and Liz will each offer their observations, engage each other in dialogue, and then invite the audience to participate in an open discussion.

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Journeys: Bridging the Us/Them Divide in the Global Refugee Crisis
November 4-9, 2017

The world is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with 65 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, including 23 million refugees. Both the scale and complex causes of this global humanitarian crisis are difficult to fathom and although education about relevant facts and figures is important, there is no substitute for a personal encounter to reframe our understanding of a global crisis.

The Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School has partnered with the American Academy of Religion and Boston College to bring a Shared Studios portal to the Boston area. The portal will be open on the Campus Green with opportunities for HDS community members to join in conversation with displaced peoples in Iraq, Jordan, and Germany via live, full body video connective technology, as if speaking in the same room.

Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law & Diplomacy Fall Conference
November 3, 2017

The Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law & Diplomacy is a student run group at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts. The Fall Conference will introduce a framework that allows for productive engagement with religion in international affairs. With notable keynote speakers and interdisciplinary panelists discussing what religious literacy means for conflict resolution, business, security, diplomacy and humanitarian action, the purpose of our conference aims to develop this very mindset.

This student run conference will introduce graduate students and the greater Fletcher community to the importance of religious literacy in their professional spheres. The secondary goal is to create a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue between academics and practitioners. We will invite inspiring religious peacebuilders, pragmatic security professionals, culturally aware business leaders, and cutting edge academics to engage with case studies that explore the necessity of religious literacy in their field.

Journeys: Bridging the Us/Them Divide in the Global Refugee Crisis
November 1, 2017

A panel on storytelling, advocacy, and activism hosted by the Religious Literacy Project in response to the refugee crisis. The world is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with 65 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, including 23 million refugees. At their best, wealthy Western countries struggle to generate the political will to accept substantial numbers of refugees; at their worst, they refuse to accept more than token numbers of refugees, or politicize refugees as threats to national security, cultural identity, or national economy. Although education about relevant facts and figures is important, there is no substitute for a personal encounter to reframe our understanding of a global crisis.

Film screening and discussion: Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears
October 30, 2017

In 2015, the Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Hopi, and Zuni nations came together to protect from natural resource extraction a pristine area they consider sacred. This film by Angelo Baca (Navajo/ Hopi) follows their successful effort to have 1.35 million-acres designated as a National Monument in collaborative management partnership with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. The film is being screened as part of the Women's Studies in Religion Program's Native American Speakers Series. The screening will be followed by a discussion featuring filmmaker Angelo Baca, Harvard Divinity School writer-in-residence Terry Tempest Williams, and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

This event is co-sponsored by the HDS Women’s Studies in Religion Program and Religions and the Practice of Peace.

Pathways to Peace in Colombia
Monday, October 30, 2017

As part of the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution series the Program of Negotiation at Harvard Law school is hosting “Pathways to Peace in Colombia” with Dr. Jennifer Schirmer. Dr. Schirmer holds a Ph.D. in Political Anthropology. For the past 17 years, she has served as a facilitator in peacebuilding and peacemaking in Colombia. Between 2000 and 2013, Schirmer directed a peacebuilding project that constructively engaged in dialogue a number of sectors – the armed forces, former guerrilleros, parliamentarians, the private sector, journalists, etc. – early on and over the long term, in preparation for the peace talks. These efforts included, among others, the management of spoilers. In addition, beginning in late 2012, she held seminars for the Technical Sub-Commission to help draft a comprehensive Colombian model of ceasefire, disarmament, de-mobilization and reintegration protocols for the table of negotiations in Havana with the FARC, with the signing of the Final Accords in November 2016. Currently, Schirmer serves as a consultant to a number of the parties involved in the peace talks with the second guerrilla group, the ELN.

Responsibility to Others: Victim Protection and Transitional Justice in El Salvador
October 24, 2017

Responsibility to others is a common value across religious traditions and the basis of the international human rights system. We are living in an historic moment in which governments are retreating from commitments to protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants. In response, individuals and communities around the world are taking action to reaffirm a commitment to basic human rights principles and preserve the gains made by previous generations. Join us for a discussion with Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, a human rights organization based in El Salvador. Bullock will discuss Cristosal’s work on behalf of victims of contemporary and historic human rights violations in the region and strategies for establishing a human rights climate in which peacemaking is possible.

This event is co-sponsored by the HDS Office of Ministry Studies and Religions and the Practice of Peace.

Film Screening and Discussion: The Peacemaker
October 20, 2017

Join the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section for the close of Conflict Resolution Week with a special screening of The Peacemaker, a documentary film directed and produced by James Demo.The film is an intimate portrait of Padraig O’Malley, owner of the Plough & Stars bar in Cambridge, author, and UMass Boston professor, who has worked for decades to help divided societies come together. The film takes us from Padraig’s life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to some of the most dangerous crisis zones on earth – from Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Nigeria to Iraq over five years – as he works with a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction. We meet Padraig in the third act of his life in a race against time to find some kind of salvation for both the world and himself. A discussion with James Demo and Padraig O’Malley will follow the screening. Watch the trailer at

Christianity, Race, and Mass Incarceration Conference
October 19 and 20, 2017

The Christianity, Race, and Mass Incarceration Conference will gather scholars of various disciplines, activists, organizers, and formerly incarcerated persons and place them in conversation with each other. We hope to advance through this workshop a critical study of carceral punishment, especially as it relates to questions of Christian thought and practice, and to provoke awareness and activism around incarceration in America.

This event is co-sponsored by HDS Dean's Office, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, and Religions and the Practice of Peace.

Mothers for Justice & Equality National Conference 2017: Empowering Women to Action
October 19 and 20, 2017

The Mothers for Justice & Equality National Conference is the only national convening of mothers who have experienced loss from street violence, social change-makers, corporate partners and civic leaders. During the two day conference participants from across the country share their successes, gain technical assistance from experts, and build an alliance to lead the change that is needed to end violence in our communities.

RPP Colloquium Event: The Restorative Justice Approach: Wisdom and Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Peace in Our Communities
October 5, 2017

The first session of the fourth annual RPP Colloquium dinner series will explore restorative justice, its spiritual dimensions, and the potential contributions of its approach to advancing sustainable peace in our communities and our world. The session will feature presentations by:

  • Fania Davis, J.D., PhD, Co-Executive Director, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), will address “The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice: Resources for Cultivating Peace in Our Communities”
  • sujatha baliga, J.D., Director, Restorative Justice Project; Vice President, Impact Justice; Just Beginnings Fellow, will deliver a talk entitled “Have You Been Angry Long Enough? Faith, Forgiveness, and Restorative Justice.”

Watch video: October 2017 Colloquium on the Restorative Justice Approach

SHINE Summit: Creating a Positive Future
Tuesday, June 13 - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The SHINE Summit is the leading forum for visionary thinking, innovative research and practical solutions that advance corporate sustainability and well-being.  This June, senior executives from across all industries will join influential scientists, thinkers and innovators on campus in Cambridge to explore world-changing ideas for building a healthier future for people and planet.  A uniquely intimate gathering, the Summit fosters opportunities for transformative thinking, authentic connection and creative collaboration among those committed to creating a positive future today.

Tanenbaum 25th Anniversary Gala: Peace Made Possible

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Every year, Tanenbaum hosts an Annual Awards Gala in New York City to recognize leaders who stand for justice and are combating religious prejudice. Past awardees include Bill Clinton, Elie Wiesel, Madeleine Albright, and Kofi Annan. This year's honorees will include Ban Ki-moon, Libra Group, and Soledad O'Brien. As an attendee, you'll mingle with a diverse audience of hundreds, including many influential figures at the top of their respective professions and fields, while enjoying an evening of celebration and entertainment. 

For all, you become invaluable supporters in the mission of combating religious prejudice--and the vision of a more peaceful future.

Louis D. Brown Peace Institute 21st Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace: Drop-in Information Sessions

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hosted by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is a celebration of our potential to create more peaceful communities. Every year families from across the state and region walk together toward peace to demand dignity and compassion for all families impacted by murder. The Mother’s Day Walk is also the Peace Institute’s most important fundraising event. It is a center committed to healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss.

Mindful Civic Empowerment: Tools and Strategies for Mindfulness Teachers and Practitioners

Sunday, May 7, 2017

In collaboration with the newDharma Sangha and Harvard University, we are organizing a group of 40 mindfulness teachers and practitioners to participate in a training to develop organizing tools for mindfulness through practices of meditation, community art, collective reflection, and discussion. Participants will develop and expand on tools to build collective action in their communities through teachings of compassionate practices to promote activism through healing, education about non harm towards the self, others, and the earth. These tools can be taught throughout the greater Boston community and beyond.

Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War: Massachusetts Peace Action

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The growing hostility between the US and Russia, North Korea and Iran makes it more urgent to reduce the risk of nuclear war, as do plans to spend a trillion dollars replacing US nuclear weapons by new ones more suited for first-strike. Nuclear war can be triggered on purpose or through miscalculation, terror or error, and this conference aims to advocate and organize toward reducing this danger. It is not an academic conference, but rather one that addresses the political and economic realities of the new Trump administration, and attempts to stimulate and inform the kinds of social movement needed to change national policy. This year we mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church with a great lineup of inspiring speakers. The conference registration includes lunch.

Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership Presents: "Compassionate and Mindful Leadership"

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Learn practical, effective mindfulness tools introduced to the UK Parliament, the European Commission, the German Bundestag and the Government of Dubai by the Kalapa Leadership Academy. Keynote address will feature Chris Ruane, former UK Member of Parliament and Board of Trustees, Oxford Mindfulness Group and a mindfulness workshop will be hosted by Sophie Maclaren, Director of the Mindfulness in Business Programme at Said Business School, University of Oxford. Open to all students. 

The Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution Presents: "The Vienna Project, Holocaust Memory and Social Activism"

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Karen Frostig works as a conceptual, interdisciplinary artist, and is President and Artistic Director of "The Vienna Project." She is a writer, cultural historian, and educator, engaged in international activist projects dealing with traumatic memory, inherited erasures, and new forms of testimony. Invited in 2008 to install the "Exiled Memory" project at the Universitat Wien Juridicum, she conceived of and directed "The Vienna Project," in 2013. "The Vienna Project" is a social action, public memory project situated in sixteen districts on the streets of Vienna. The project challenged prescribed habits of remembrance and fixed formulas of memorialization. 

Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation Presents: "Understanding Emotion in the Context of Intractable, Intergroup Conflict"

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Recent years have seen researchers making initial steps towards drawing on insights from emotion research in the study of conflicts. Dr. Halperin argues that building bridges between these two communities (i.e., scholars of emotions and those studying conflict resolution) would help us to form a better understanding of core processes in emotion and emotion regulation cannot simply be implanted "as is" into the study of these unique contexts. Dr. Halperin's talk will begin with outlining the importance but also the challenges of integrating these two disciplines. He will detail the contextual factors unique to intractable conflict that must be taken into account when studying emotional processes. Dr. Halperin will close by discussing the challenges facing those wishing to integrate conflict studies and emotion research.

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Presents: "Resolve: Negotiating Life's Conflicts with Greater Confidence"

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School will host Hal Movius, founder and president of Movius Consulting and author of Resolve: Negotiating Life’s Conflicts with Greater Confidence. If you dread conflict, you’re not alone. Research suggests that interpersonal conflict is the biggest daily stressor we face, and that most of us go through life avoiding potential conflicts at work and at home, or giving in when we feel pressured. In Resolve, Hal Movius discusses how you can handle life’s negotiations more effectively and with less stress by developing three distinct types of confidence: mastery, awareness, and poise.

Brandeis Jewish Studies Colloquium: “Beyond Vengeance: Jewish Visions of Justice after the Holocaust”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Jewish Studies Colloquium provides a forum for graduate students and faculty from Brandeis University and other academic institutions around the world to discuss their current research and works-in-progress. The colloquium engages a wide range of topics in Jewish studies from history and thought to political and national identity

Beyond the Line: "Engaging Difference"

Monday, April 24th, 2017

How do we foster cross-partisan participation on polarizing issues? Seeking areas of shared understanding and common ground despite political differences is challenging but crucial. This talk at Harvard Kennedy School of Government will be facilitated by Dereca Blackmon, Associate Dean and Director, Diversity and First-Gen Office, Stanford University.

Building Relationships Through Conversations and Sharing our Stories on Race and Racism Potluck Dialogue Dinner

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Co-sponsored by the Needham Clergy Association & the CMM Ruah Interfaith Spirituality Program, this is a dialogue dinner in which we share our own stories in small groups and listen closely to others to bridge gaps in understanding and developing empathy. The program will be facilitated by Karlene Griffiths Sekou, an upcoming graduate with a M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School. She has worked at Judson Memorial Church in NYC, an active leader with Black Lives Matter, and a nationally sought after speaker and panelist. Email to RSVP and let us know what you would like to bring for the vegetarian potluck meal: appetizer, main dish, salad, beverage, dessert.

Rev. Jesse Jackson on "Religion and Conflict Transformation"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hosted at Boston College by the Fr. Raymond Helmick, S.J. Memorial Lecture on Conflict Transformation, this is an address featuring Rev. Jesse Jackson (Founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition). He will be addressing the topic of: Religious Aspects of Human Rights, International Justice and Conflict Transformation In Today’s Global Political Environment.

Peace in the Middle East? Problems and Possibilities

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oliver McTernan has been instrumental in facilitating behind-the-scenes dialogue in some of the world's most intractable conflicts. Discover what he has learned through these processes - including major obstacles and possibilities for creating a more peaceful Middle East. Cosponsored by Religions and the Practice of Peace.

The Program on Negotiation Film Series: Disturbing the Peace

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Disturbing the Peace follows former enemy combatants - including Israeli soldiers from elite units of the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian rebel fighters - as they work together to challenge the unsustainable status quo of regional relations. The film follows their journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle against each other to finding commonality amongst themselves as participants in the conflict. Disturbing the Peace examines how this unlikely group of individuals have transformed themselves into activists for peace through their work at their jointly formed organization, Combatants for Peace. While focusing on the Middle East peace process, Disturbing the Peace has a universal message, inspiring all of us to become active participants in the creation of peace in our global and local communities. Cosponsored by Religions and the Practice of Peace.

Harvard International Law Journal Online Symposium 2017: "Accountability for the Illegal Use of Force"
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In 1946, the world witnessed the first-ever prosecutions of a state’s leaders for planning and executing a war of aggression. The idea of holding individuals accountable for the illegal use of force—the “supreme international crime”—was considered but ultimately rejected in the wake of the First World War. A few decades later, however, following the even more destructive Second World War, the victorious powers succeeded in coming together in a court of law at Nuremberg to prosecute the leaders of Nazi Germany for waging an aggressive war against other states. Ben Ferencz, a Nuremberg prosecutor has spent the past seven decades tirelessly working to ensure that the prevention and prosecution of aggressive war-making remain on the international agenda.

Now, with Ben Ferencz’s work in mind, and writing as the international community prepares to decide whether to activate the ICC jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, the authors in this symposium take stock both of what has been accomplished and of what remains to be done. Building on discussions in 2015 at the Harris Institute, this symposium reflects on broader issues of accountability for the illegal use of force under international law, with the goal of influencing broader scholarly efforts that continue to shape the debate on the scope, nature, and future of the criminalization of the illegal use of force.

Spiritual Activism: A Conversation with Ruby Sales
Monday, April 10th, 2017

Join us for a conversation with Ruby Sales, public theologian, founder and director of the Spirit House Project, and icon of the civil rights movement. This conversation will seek to address the questions: What are the spiritual dimensions of our current crisis? What are the spiritual implications of police violence against people of color, voter suppression, the scapegoating of immigrants and refugees, the opioid crisis, and the rise of white nationalism? What spiritual work will help us re-imagine our democracy, link multiple struggles, protect human dignity, and cultivate solidarity?

Performance and Discussion of "Kultar's Mime"

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

“Kultar's Mime” is a play that blends painting, poetry, theater and music to tell the stories of Sikh children who survived the 1984 Delhi massacre that was organized in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination. A collective of young Jewish artists decides to commemorate a 1903 Pogrom that targeted Jews in the Russian town of Kishinev. During their journey, they learn about the 1984 massacre of the Sikhs in Delhi and in a powerful moment of embracing the pain of the 'other', they shift focus and decide to tell a story that the world has largely ignored. This performance of Kultar's Mime is sponsored by The Pluralism Project and The Harvard University South Asia Institute. It was also featured at RPP's Colloquium on Speaking the Sikh Experience in September 2016. 

Instruments of Peace: Being Called to Action

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Hosted by the Paulist Center Boston, this will be a session to learn strategies for contacting your elected officials, sharing resources and upcoming events. Time will include breakouts by the identified Interest Groups (Immigration, Environment, Free Press, Healthcare, Electoral Politics, and “isms”). New attendees will have the opportunity to identify what issues to focus your energy and talents on. All are welcome. Please email community member Deborah Gregson, for questions. 

“Prophecy without Contempt:  Religious Discourse in the Public Squares”

Friday, April 7th, 2017

This conversation will feature M. Cathleen Kaveny, Rowan Williams, Charles Taylor, and Jonathan Lear. It is sponsored by the Clough Center for Constitutional Democracy and the Boston Univ. Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.

Drop the MIC (Military Industrial Complex)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How can we connect our movements and reclaim our resources from the destructive forces of defense, “security,” and policing?  How is militarism expanding in policing and in our schools?  How is it propping up resource extraction abroad and here in the U.S. as at Standing Rock? How can we work to withdraw our consent from these practices and center those that create community control and true community safety and defense?

Massachusetts Peace Action will host a conversation about the real effects of U.S. militarism on our local communities, our society and around the world. Speakers include Maggie Martin and Matt Howard of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW);  Mike Prokosch of Dorchester People for Peace; and Didi Delgado and Karlene Griffiths Sekou of Black Lives Matter. 

From the Ground Up: The Progressive Path to Political Leadership

Thursday, April 6, 2017

On April 6th, in partnership with Civic Engagement Fund, we are bringing together fundraisers, community organizers, faith leaders, political professionals, lawyers, and elected officials to discuss the path forward for the progressive political movement. Leaders of progressive organizations will share ideas, speak about their missions, and address how they are converting the energy of community activism into effective political action.

Featuring a keynote address by Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change, and remarks by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Victoria Budson, founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

RPP Colloquium Event: "Beyond Militarization: The Role of Religious Communities in the Struggle for Justice and Peace"

Thursday, April 6, 2017

At a time when the White House proposes to increase military spending by $54 billion while slashing funds for social programs at home and humanitarian aid abroad, we recall the warning of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that a nation spending more money on the military than on social uplift "is approaching spiritual death." What role can religious communities play today in resisting war and militarism and working for social and economic justice?

Watch video: April 2017 Colloquium 'Beyond Militarization"

Hrant Dink Memorial Peace and Justice Lecture: "Minorities and Human Rights in Turkey"

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Sponsored by The Mahindra Humanities Center Harvard, the Hrant Dink Memorial Peace and Justice Lecture will feature Ayşe Gül Altınay, Sabanci Univ.; Gerard Libaridian, Univ. of Michigan; Etiyen Mahçupyan, Journalist; Malika Zeghal, Harvard to discuss the situation of minorities and human rights in contemporary Turkey. 

Kids4Peace Boston 2017 High School Interfaith Conference

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Kids4PeaceBoston trains and empower youth to become interfaith peace leaders. This conference focused on bringing together Muslim, Jewish, and Christian teens to take action in combatting Islamophobia, spreading interfaith understanding, welcoming refugees, and taking action on the causes you care about!

Spiritual Resistance and Resilience in a Time of Climate Change

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Looking deeply into our sources of hope can sustain our efforts to renew the web of life and to create a just society. This retreat explored a framework for the heart to help us become healers filled with compassion, energy, and hope. The retreat will include presentations, guided meditation, silence, and conversation. The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, PhD, led the retreat at Trinity Church in the City of Boston. She is a founding member of Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, and a leader in New England Regional Environmental Ministries.

Pursuing Justice, Building Peace: Growing the Resistance

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Massachusetts Peace Action came together on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's speech "Beyond Vietnam,"  to think about this powerful and historic articulation of the message of the modern peace and justice movement. They read key excerpts from the speech at this event. Keynote speaker Vijay Prashad, the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, spoke. He is the author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and sixteen other books.

Refugee Immigration Ministry's Interfaith/ International Concert

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Refugee Immigration Ministry was founded in 1986 as an Interfaith Ministry whose purpose was to offer Spiritual Care in the detention facilities. As RIM has expanded to other services the collaboration between faith groups has brought volunteers together from many cultures and faiths to provide community-based services to uprooted and often isolated persons. RIM’s participating faith groups include: American Baptist, Buddhist, Episcopal, Hindu, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Sikh, Society of Friends, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, and United Presbyterian. 

“Undocumented Knowledge: Students, Borders, and the Politics of Sanctuary”

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Lorgia Garcia-Peña (Harvard University), Lisa Lowe (Tufts University), Prerna Lal (East Bay Community Law Center), Keish Kim (Harvard American Studies graduate student), Medhin Paolos (Asmarina Project, and Rete G2 Milano), Maurice Stierl (University of California, Davis) will be leading an important discussion on building sanctuary for undocumented students at this time. 

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Faithful People Gather to Speak out for Peace A Call to Action

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Massachusetts Peace Action hosted this event, bringing together a number of honored speakers, including Mayor Denise Simmons; Rev. Paul Ford, Senior Pastor, Union Baptist Church; and Jim Stewart, Director of First Church UCC shelter

"Trembling Before G-d" Film Screening

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

“Trembling Before G-d” is an unprecedented feature documentary that shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma – how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality. 

The Journey of Conflict: Steps Toward Peace

Wednesday, March 29, 3 - 5:00 pm Braun Room, Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School

Marc Gopin, Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), the James H. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University led an interactive conflict resolution seminar at HDS introducing steps to approaching conflicts today. 

Seeking Higher Ground: Religion and Conflict Transformation

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This one-day, interactive conference at Hebrew College explored the vision of our religious communities as places for higher ground. Hands-on workshops offered specific skills and practices from the world of conflict transformation to assist communities and leaders in working towards this vision.

RPP Colloquium: Islam, Tradition, and Resources for Nonviolent Conflict Transformation

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The Islamic tradition and Muslim communities have rich and long legacies of teachings, practices, and precedents for prioritizing nonviolent approaches to conflict transformation. Join us as two leading scholar-practitioners discuss theological, spiritual, and practical resources for peace in Islamic scripture and tradition, historical cases, and implications for our contemporary world.

Watch video: March 2017 Colloquium on Nonviolent Conflict Transformation

Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Speaker Sheila Katz is author of Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence (University of Texas Press, 2016), the first comprehensive history of grassroots efforts to forge nonviolent alternatives to the lethal collision of these two national movements. Her first book, Women and Gender in Early Palestinian and Jewish Nationalism (University Press of Florida, 2003), investigates the origins of this conflict through the transformation of gender and national identities during the first half of the 20th century. Before coming to Berklee, she taught at Harvard for eight years where she organized programs on Middle Eastern women. She has published numerous articles and reviews in places such as Kandiyoti’sGendering the Middle East, the Arab Studies Journal, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Lilith Magazine, among others. Katz holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University in fine arts (studio and history) and both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Harvard University in Middle East studies.

Connecting with Inner Peace in an Agitated World with H.E. Dza Kilung Jigme Rinpoche

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Join the Harvard Buddhist Community for an event with H.E. Dza Kilung Jigme Rinpoche. He is a Tibetan meditation master known for his depth, sincerity, and delightful warmth.  His 2015 book The Relaxed Mind: A Seven-Step Method for Deepening Meditation Practice is the fruit of 17 years' teaching in the West.

Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Join Professor Nisha Sajnani, a member of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma faculty, for a two-hour, hands-on, facilitated workshop introducing theatre of the oppressed techniques. 

Professor Sajnani has expertise in the role of the arts in global mental health with an emphasis on theatre practice. Dr. Sajnani hosts an international  network  on the arts and displacement and is a recipient of the Corann Okorodudu Global Women’s Advocacy Award from the Society for the Psychology of Women from the American Psychological Association. She’s also a Theatre of the Oppressed Trainer and will be doing a training for HDS. The Theater of the Oppressed, established in the early 1970s by Brazilian director and Workers' Party (PT) activist Augusto Boal, is a participatory theater that fosters democratic and cooperative forms of interaction among participants.

Islamic Legal Studies Program Film Screening: "What Tomorrow Brings"

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The second event in ILSP: LSC's film series on Women, Rights, and Activism in the Muslim World is a screening of "What Tomorrow Brings", a film that goes inside the very first girls' school in a small Afghan village. From the school's beginnings in 2009 to its first graduation in 2015, the film traces the interconnected stories of students, teachers, village elders, parents, and school founder Razia Jan. Filmmaker Beth Murphy embeds herself in this school and community for an intimate look at what it really means to be a girl growing up in Afghanistan today. After the film, Beth Murphy will join us for discussion and Q&A. Kristen Stilt, Professor of Law and Director of ILSP: LSC, will be the discussant and Salma Waheedi, ILSP: LSC Visiting Fellow will moderate. Dinner will be provided.

If you plan to attend this event, please send your RSVP to the event coordinators.

"Circle of Poison": A Film Screening 

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Join Community Church of Boston for a film screening of the film "Circle of Poison." Narrated by Elizabeth Kucinich, this 2015 documentary takes a global look at communities impacted by the export of toxic pesticides made in America and how they are fighting back. Directed by Evan Mascagni and Shannon Post,  it includes interviews with Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva, and the Dalai Lama. Lunch will be provided afterwards. 

ICSWR Screening: Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Living in the lingering wake of the Idi Amin regime of terror and intolerance, a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim coffee farmers in the foothills of Mount Elgon in Uganda sought to work collectively to overcome economic hurdles and challenge ingrained religious prejudices. They formed “Delicious Peace” Coffee Cooperative and partnered with a Fair Trade US buyer and roaster, as a result of which their endeavor has been successful. Today, the farmers’ standard of living is improving, peace is flourishing, and their messages of peace and fair wages are spreading to farmers in nearby regions as well as their coffee customers in the United States. 

After the movie, join Tuft's Professor and Rabbi Joseph Summit for a talk about his Grammy nominated music compilation, Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda produced by Smithsonian Folkways. The album features music from the interfaith Mirembe Kawomera coffee cooperative in Mbale, Uganda. According to Smithsonian Folkways, the album "aims to overcome religious conflict and bring peace through song and fair trade coffee." He'll talk about his work creating music for social justice and also give us insight into how the coffee cooperative is doing today. Delicious Peace Coffee will be served.

Communities Against Hate: Response and Resilience in Multireligious Boston 

Tuesday, March 7th, 2016

Please join the Pluralism Project as it convenes religious, interfaith and civic leaders of Greater Boston for a roundtable discussion on what resources, skills, and help communities can offer one another in these increasingly tense times. Collaborators at the event include civic leaders, leaders of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Sikh communities in the greater Boston area, and leaders of some of the interfaith and multicultural councils that have become something of a rapid-response team following incidents of threat, bias, or hate. The Pluralism Project  will use insights gleaned from this event to inform its efforts to help build an intentional and multisided network of vigilance and support for religious minority and vulnerable communities. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated but not required.

RPP Colloquium Event: "Religion and the Sphere of Care and Cooperation: Social Science Research on Religious Prosociality"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Recent, interdisciplinary research on religious prosociality confirms that religion helps groups form, thrive, and grow—to include both one’s neighbors and distant strangers. While much contemporary discourse on religion highlights its role in conflict, few features of culture historically have done so much to promote human bonds at a large scale. This discussion considered social scientific research shedding light on religion’s role in advancing cooperation within groups, as well as its complex role in competition and cooperation among groups.

Watch video: March 2017 Colloquium on Religious Prosociality

Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice: The Pragmatics of Embodied Solidarity in Theopolitical Space

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice. It was delivered by Larycia Hawkins, Abd el-Kader Visiting Faculty Fellow at University of Virginia. The topic was "The Pragmatics of Embodied Solidarity in Theopolitical Space."

Identity-Based Violence Prevention 

Friday, February 17, 2017
This two-part workshop was facilitated by Maike Issac, Education Specialist for the Harvard University Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. Harming and Being Harmed (part 1) fostered participants’ understanding of power dynamics and how they play out, on a day to day basis, at Harvard University, on protests, or in shared community spaces. Nonviolent Communication (part 2) taught participants to differentiate between evaluations and observations, to express their emotions and needs, and to make doable requests from others. 

RPP Colloquium Event: "Healing, Bridge-building, and Empowerment to Address Gun Violence: Inspiration from Boston's African American Communities" 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gun violence is a critical problem in the United States, daily bringing tragedy to families and communities across the United States. The National Institute of Justice reports that our urban areas, and our youth between the ages of 15 and 24, are most affected. Recent events, including highly-publicized shootings by police, have stimulated increased public discussion of the impact of gun violence on African American communities. In what way can communities respond to the complex challenge of gun violence? What spiritual and human resources might they bring to bear? Join us as we learn from leaders in the Boston area driving inspiring community-based initiatives to address the effects and sources of this local and national problem. 

Watch video: January 2017 Colloquium on Gun Violence

Religious Literacy in Humanitarian Action Symposium

Thursday, January 19 - Friday, January 20, 2017

The Religious Literacy Project at HDS in cooperation with Boston University will host a special symposium on religious literacy in humanitarian action. The hope is that the conversations will generate new insights about the role of religious literacy in humanitarian action, the importance of local leadership, and the challenges posed by engaging religion in this field.

The event begins with a plenary panel featuring Alastair Ager, Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, and Azza Karam. It continues with several panel discussions, which will be streamed live on the HDS website. Those who wish to attend should register online. You can also join the conversation on social media using #RLPIHumanAction.

“Round Table Discussion:  SHARIAsource and the United States Institute of Peace”

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The conversation will highlight key terms and approaches necessary for understanding sharīʿa and for critically analyzing discussions of it in the public sphere. Further avenues of inquiry will concern ways in which practitioners working in the field in the MENA region (Middle East North Africa) have drawn on Islamic law expertise in their field work. Presenters include Intisar Rabb, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Paul Beran, Executive Director of SHARIAsource, and Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, USIP

"Religions and Social Progress:  Critical Assessments and Creative Partnerships"

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

A conversation with Nancy Ammerman of Boston University and Grace Davie of the University of Exeter at Boston University sponsored by Boston Univ. Pardee School of Global Studies Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs

RPP Colloquium Event: "Religion and the Rights and Protection of Children in Humanitarian Crises: The Case of Syria"

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Humanitarian crises affect children disproportionately.  Without access to adequate nutrition, housing, healthcare, education, and physical and emotional security, the well-being of an entire generation of children can be lost in the course of responding to and resolving such a crisis.  Yet, the particular humanitarian needs and protection of children are often overlooked.  Religious communities and organizations, and people informed by religious values, often play a critical role in supporting effective intervention during conflict, and in post-conflict healing, in some cases doing so amidst conflicts that involve issues of religious difference.  

This discussion will consider the ongoing case of the Syrian refugee crisis with a lens on the well-being of the children affected by the conflict, and the relevance of religion and religious communities.  UNICEF estimates that the total population directly affected by the crisis at the end of 2016 will number 4.7 million, over half of which are children.

Watch video: December 2016 Colloquium on Children in Humanitarian Crises

The Troubled Eye: The Moral Dilemmas of Reporting on War, Religion, and Social Justice

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

This presentation by Eliza Griswold, a Berggruen Fellow at Harvard this year, is the third in a CSWR series on Religion and the Media, organized by Professors Diane Moore and Frank Clooney, CSWR Director.

The Role Dignity Must Play in Post-Election Healing

Monday, November 21, 2016

Donna Hicks, Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, presented on this topic as part of the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Co-sponsored by Religions and the Practice of Peace.

The American Academy of Religion: Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group
Theme: Religious Peacebuilding: Let’s Get Strategic

Monday, November 21, 2016

At the American Academy of Religion Conference in San Antonio, a panel of distinguished experts and practitioners in the religious peacebuilding field will draw on case studies from Peacemakers in Action: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding – Volume II (the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding) to explore the unique ways in which religious peacebuilders can fit within the peace and diplomacy landscape. 

The panelists will look at religiously motivated peacebuilders around the world at different points of conflict cycles and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of religious peacebuilding in conflict and post-conflict zones, as well as opportunities for the IR field to learn from and incorporate religious peacebuilding.

Film Screening: "Disturbing the Peace"

Friday, November 11th, 2016

We want to share with you the opportunity to see a thought-provoking film that tells the story of the group Combatants for Peace, which aims to bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians and work towards a two state solution. Disturbing the Peace follows a group of former Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinians who fought against them – including many who served years in prison. The group, named Combatants for Peace, comes together to say “enough!” and to support each other’s journeys to a steadfast belief in non-violence. A story of the human potential for hope and unity.

If you would like to learn more about some of the people involved in this organization, you can read this recent New York Times article about Shifa al-Qudsi, a Palestinian woman who once aspired to be a suicide bomber and now works with Combatants for Peace.

A Special RPP Colloquium Conversation: "Cultivating Community Across Divides in the US: Relationship Building As a Spiritual Practice"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grassroots relationship building across divides has emerged as a recommendation from scholars, practitioners, and religious peacebuilders in many of our RPP conversations. Whatever may be occurring in US politics and policy, ongoing work by ordinary people to build community across religious, racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and political lines will be crucial for us to move toward a healthy democracy and sustainable peace in this country. While recent political and social turmoil in the US has led to much pain, partisanship, and anger, it also presents an opportunity for individuals and communities in this country to demonstrate and model a more constructive path forward. 

Dean David N. Hempton, having proposed in his Memorial Church sermon in October 2015 that we understand this peace work as a spiritual practice, hosted this reflective, forward-looking conversation.

Watch video: November 2016 Colloquium with Dean David N. Hempton on Relationship Building As a Spiritual Practice

An Evening of Arts Activism: Performances and Conversations

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

You're invited to a very special evening with visiting artists from The Sanctuaries in Washington, D.C., the nation's first racially and spiritually diverse arts community. Take a break from the busyness of life and experience firsthand the artistry, soulfulness, and vision that has attracted national media attention from CBS News, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

You'll also hear about a brand new program called "The Collective" that mobilizes the next generation of multicultural artists working on the front lines of justice movements. Join other local artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists to explore how this program could support existing efforts and address unmet needs for arts activism in Boston

Education and Transformative Justice: A Community Conversation about Connections, Questions, and Action

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

How do we understand justice? What are the connections between under-resourced schools, trauma and mass incarceration? From cradle to prison cell, how do we give educators the tools needed to work for justice that transforms individuals, relationships and communities? This event will be hosted at the Harvard Graduate School for Education, and will include panelists including RPP working group member Melissa Bartholomew, racial justice and healing practitioner.

Religion and Social Justice Panel: Black Religion, Spirituality, and Culture Conference (Registration Required)

Friday, November 4th, 2016

The inaugural Black Religion, Spirituality, and Culture Conference is a full-day event that seeks to advance exploration of Black religion and spirituality. The conference aims to 1) ask and explore questions of religion and culture from a Black perspective, 2) provide a gathering space for Black scholars and students and foster a sense of both community and genealogy, 3) foster cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary dialogue and scholarship, and 4) link scholarship to activism and leadership, while highlighting scholarship itself as a transformative practice.

Spiritually Resilient Leadership in the Midst of Adaptive Problems: A Conversation with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake discussed the challenges of leading a city in today's turbulent racial and political climate. 

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Religions and the Practice of Peace at Harvard Divinity School presented: Reconciliation in Divided Times: How to Negotiate the Nonnegotiable

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

How can we bridge the divides that threaten to tear apart our world? In this timely book talk, Dr. Daniel Shapiro examined the five fundamental emotional forces that are fracturing politics, community relations, and international cooperation. He presented a new method for counteracting these dynamics and promoting reconciliation in these turbulent times. The talk drew on his newest book, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, which Ambassador Jaime de Bourbon de Parme called “one of the most important books of our modern era.”

Daniel Shapiro, Ph.D., is founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, associate professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital, and affiliate faculty at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

The Fletcher Conference on Religion, Law & Diplomacy

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

The conference is a unique mix of academics, practitioners and community leaders that highlights the complex relationship between religion and state across communities and nations. This year’s theme, human security, underlines the demand for a greater understanding of religion and religious organizations.

Ambassador Marriet Schuurman, NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, will be the keynote speaker for the conference.

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War—Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

In 1939, Rev. Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and his wife, Martha, a social worker, agreed to travel to Prague to investigate reports of a humanitarian crisis. A new documentary by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky,Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, tells the riveting story of the Sharps’ work in Europe during World War II.

Harvard Divinity School is proud to present a screening of the film and a panel discussion placing the Sharps’ efforts in a larger historical context of modern refugee crises. 

Panelists include Artemis Joukowsky, HDS professor Kevin Madigan, Amber Moulton of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Sana Mustafa, an activist and Syrian refugee. It will be moderated by HDS professor Dan McKanan.

An Ethics for the Coming Storm: A Theological Reflection on Climate Change

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Prophecy has two duties: it must imagine the future and it must offer a choice, the warning contingent on human moral agency. In this world, and at this time, the duty of prophecy is not theoretical, for humanity faces a stark reality, one that is already beginning to unfold. Climate change threatens the world of stability that undergirds all institutions, all texts, and all practices. While a drastically changed climate is a new challenge in science and policy, the drama of drought and refugees is not a new problem in religious texts or traditions. The biblical account of creation sends humans into a chancy world; the famines that drive the biblical narrative send populations sweeping across the Middle East, in a land promised, but fragile. As our world begins to shift under the burden of a dramatically warming climate, it is the duty of prophecy – to imagine and to warn – that animates both science and theology.  Hosted by Boston College, Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University will speak on this topic. 

The Healing Power of Compassion

Saturday October 22nd--Sunday October 23rd, 2016 

Courage of Care founders John Makransky and Brooke D. Lavelle will lead this two-day, intensive Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) workshop. SCT is a method designed to help all people who care for others within their family, work, and community realize a power of unconditional care from within that is deeply healing and sustaining, that makes them more fully present to themselves and others, and that empowers a strong, active compassion for persons that is not subject to empathy, fatigue, and burnout.

Managing Difficult Conversations: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Interested in exploring conflict around issues of racial, ethnic, and religious identity? Wondering what YOU can do to address it on your campus or in your community? Join the Graduate Programs in Conflict Resolution at UMass Boston for this free workshop for undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates from any university. It will include a training workshop with faculty and professionals leading interactive skill-building sessions on conflict analysis, identity and culture, active listening and facilitation skills, and networking lunch

The Role of Compassion in Owning our Feminine Authority

Friday, October 14th, 2016

A celebration of the anniversary of the Inaugural Women’s Assembly at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions and a year of inspirational action for women’s spirituality, dignity and human rights.

Changing the World from the Inside Out: Multifaith Perspectives on the Inner Life and Social Justice

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

How do liberal and conservative religious traditions integrate or divide the inner life and work for social justice? In what ways can social change activism be a spiritual practice itself? A diverse panel of religious leaders explored how different religious traditions balance inner spiritual development with the mandate to work for economic and social justice for all.

Keynote Event: RPP Colloquium with Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee: Women as Catalysts for Local and Global Spiritually-Engaged Movements for Sustainable Peace

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker, and women’s rights advocate. Leymah’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 – is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers (2011), and in the award-winning documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008). She is founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. She was the founding head of the Liberian Reconciliation Initiative, and was the co-Founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberia Coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). Leymah is currently named a Distinguished Activist-in-Residence at Union Theological Seminary. She travels internationally to advocate for human rights and peace & security.

Watch video: October 2016 Colloquium with Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee on Women as Catalysts for Local and Global Spirituality

Around the Table: Peacemaking

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Around the Table is a monthly lunchtime gathering exploring how a specific topic is understood, complicated, ritualized, integrated, and lived in different religious and spiritual communities. Each gathering features brief presentations by two HDS students and an invitation for those in attendance to explore the same topic from the perspectives of the wisdom and traditions with which they identify most strongly. This month's topic is peacemaking. Student presenters are Sana Saeed, MDiv candidate, and River Olsen, MDiv candidate.

Reflections on Northern Ireland's Peace Process: A Conversation with Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Bertie Ahern 

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

A discussion on the Northern Ireland peace process and broader negotiation issues with James Sebenius, Mari Fitzduff, and RPP Working Group members Dean David Hempton, Hugh O’Doherty, and Daniel Shapiro.

Program on Negotiation Open House

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

An opportunity for those interested in the fields of negotiation, conflict resolution, and mediation to learn about getting involved with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. 

Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution: "Finding Humanity Amid Conflict" with Christa Case Bryant 

Monday, September 26th, 2016 

Chaired by Donna Hicks, the theme of the 2016–2017 Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution is negotiation, conflict, and the news media. It explores the relationship between the news media and conflict-resolution efforts worldwide and examines how the framing and reporting of conflict influences the public understanding of events. 

RPP Colloquium and Pluralism Project 25th Anniversary Event: Speaking the Sikh Experience: Visible Difference in the Crucible of Change

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sarbpreet Singh is a playwright, commentator, poet, and the founder and director of the Gurmat Sangeet Project, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of traditional Sikh music.

J. Mehr Kaur is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in theatre with an emphasis in directing. Recent projects include Sara Ruhl’s Orlando, 'Water by the Spoonful' by Quiara Alegria Hudes in Northampton's 460-seat Theatre 14, and  'SEVEN: A documentary play' presented as part of Hillary Clinton's 2014 Women in Public Service Institute. 

Mr. Singh and Ms. Kaur were joined by the actors Benjamin Gutman, Sydney Grant, Monica Giordano, and Michelle Finston, who performed an excerpt from Mr. Singh’s play Kultar’s Mime.

Watch video: September 2016 Colloquium on Speaking the Sikh Experience

Pluralism Project @ 25: Diversity and Inclusion in the American Crucible

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 - Friday, September 23, 2016

To mark its 25th anniversary, the Pluralism Project brought together scholars and practitioners who are shaping the conversation about religious diversity and interfaith engagement -  both for today and for tomorrow. This interdisciplinary conference, “Pluralism Project @ 25: Diversity and Inclusion in the American Crucible,” explored the many dilemmas and decisions we face as individuals, professionals, and as citizens in an increasingly diverse world.

On the International Day of PeaceDavid N. Hempton, Dean of Harvard Divinity School, spoke at Memorial Church Morning Prayers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Professor Diane Moore and CEO of Tanenbaum Joyce Dubensky take questions from the audience.RPP Colloquium: The Evolving Field of Religious Peacebuilding: Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action, Volume II


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hind Kabawat, director of Interfaith Peacebuilding, George Mason University’s Center for World Religions Diplomacy & Conflict Resolution, and Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action.

 Joyce Dubensky, Tanenbaum CEO. 

Watch video: May 2016 Colloquium on Religious Peacebuilding

Lessons from a Great Negotiator: A Conversation with Senator George Mitchell

Friday, April 29, 2016

Professor Robert Mnookin and Professor James Sebenius moderate a discussion with Former United States Senator, Recipient of the Great Negotiator Award and Former US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell.

The One Through the Other: The Verses of Peace

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A performance by Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Artist for Peace. 

Selections of verses, poems, and prayers from the three Abrahamic religions that convey coexistence, respect, and peace.

Dr. Marc Gopin speaks about his peacebuilding experience at the RPP Colloquium.RPP Colloquium: Humanitarianism, Religion, and Peace Practice

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dr. Marc Gopin, Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), the James H. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, presents “The Ethical and Spiritual Foundations of Judaic Conflict Resolution Practice and Peacebuilding: A Thirty Year Journey.”

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, presents "Orthodox Christianity, Humanitarianism, and Peacebuilding: Crisis, Sustainability, Human Security."

Watch video: April 2016 Colloquium on Humanitarianism, Religion, and Peace Practice

Social Justice and Governance in Islam

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

Deina Abdelkader, Associate Professor in the Political Science department of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, member of the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America (Fiqh Council of North America), editorial board member of Digest of Middle East Studies and co-director of the International Relations-Islamic Studies Research cohort (COIRIS). 

Human Dignity and Religious Diversity: A Workshop for Religious Leaders

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dr. Diane Moore, Director of the Religious Literacy Project and Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education at Harvard University gives a keynote presentation, with workshops and panels to follow.

"Besa: The Promise" Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Monday, April 11, 2016

Besa: The Promise presents a story that bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews. The movie's producer Jason Williams and a Jewish survivor of the Nazi persecution in Albania, Johanna Neumann, in conversation with Professor Ali Asani, Director of the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. 

Community Justice Activism Event

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice presents an event to work with students, professionals, activists and Boston residents to find solutions for common issues communities of color in Boston experience. 

Responses to State Sponsored Collective Injustice

Friday, April 8, 2016

Alondra Nelson, Professor at Columbia University and Author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome offers a keynote address followed by additional esteemed speakers at the Fourth Annual Roma Conference hosted by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and Mahindra Humanities Center. 

Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Friday, April 8, 2016

Martha Nussbaum and Miroslav Volf, as well as the Washington Post’s Mike Gerson and U.K. House of Lords Peer Sayeeda Warsi are some of the scholars speaking during this daylong symposium held at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

Harvard Graduate Council's Leadership in a Time of Crisis Conference

Friday, April 8, 2016

Jeff Seul, Lecturer on the Practice of Peace at HDS, Hugh O'Doherty, Lecturer on Conflict Resolution at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and Jairek Robbins, a Motivational Speaker and recipient of the Congressional Award, are only a few of many panelists that offer TEDtalks, panel discussions, and problem-solving scenarios during the Harvard Graduate Council's sixth annual Leadership Conference.  

Religion, Peace, and World Affairs - The Challenges Ahead

April 7, 2016

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and author of The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2016) delivers a keynote address at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. 

Better Together Day

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Through Interfaith Youth Core's (IFYC) student organizers, classmates and neighbors come together to amplify the importance of interfaith cooperation. 

Economic Prosperity for Peace: Student Club Conference at Harvard Business School

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Exploring the role that the private sector can play in building and promoting economic prosperity for Arabs and Israelis alike as a catalyst for regional stability and cooperation.

The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture

Thursday, March 31 to Friday, April 1, 2016

Winona LaDuke of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Nigel Savage of Hazon, offer keynote addresses for the "Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture" conference. 

The Armor of Light film screening and discussion at Harvard Law School

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Armor of Light follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. Speakers include Abigail Disney, an award-winning filmmaker, philanthropist, and the CEO and president of Fork Films, Reverend Rob Schenck, the film’s protagonist, an Evangelical minister and founder of the Christian outreach organization Faith and Action, based in Washington, DC and Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy and the director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

American Empire and the Muslim Experience: Inflicting Violence Through International and Domestic Law

Monday, March 28, Tuesday, March 29, and Friday, April 1, 2016

Join the Harvard Muslim Law Students Association for its first annual symposium examining how US laws and policies, deployed both domestically and abroad, shape the American Muslim experience.

Innovative Approaches to Ethnic Conflict Management in Eastern Africa

Monday, March 28, 2016

Father Patrick Devine, founder and executive director of the Shalom Center, an interfaith NGO in Nairobi, Kenya, winner of the 2013 International Caring Award.

Dr. Rev. David Hooker speaks with panel moderator Dr. Catherine Brekus.RPP Colloquium: Transforming Racialized Divides in the US: Insights from the African-European American Experience

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Associate Dean of Contextual Education, Assistant Professor of Christian Education, Eden Theological Seminary, and author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, and Rev. Dr. David Anderson Hooker, member of Staff Collective, JustPeace, The United Methodist Church’s Center for Conflict Transformation, and a minister for Local and Global Missions, First Congregational Church (UCC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and co-author of Transforming Historical Harms and the forthcoming Little Book of Transformative Community Conferencing

Watch video: March 2016 Colloquium on Racialized Divides

Challenges to the Syria Peace Talks in Geneva: How Local Governance and the War Economy Shape the Prospects for International Diplomacy

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, co-coordinator of the Syria Project at the Common Space Initiative in Beirut.

Religion and Diplomacy: How Faith Impacts Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Alumnus Shaun Casey, MDiv '83, ThD '98, the U.S. Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs under Secretary of State John Kerry. 

"There Is A Field" Play and Discussion

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics co-hosts a discussion (in collaboration with the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School) following the play "There Is A Field," written and produced by Jen Marlowe.

Dancing Through the Wound: Trauma, Religion and Healing in Indonesia

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rev. Dr. Septemmy Lakawa (Jakarta Theological Seminary), WSRP 2015–16 Research Associate and Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Theology.

Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi and Dr. Julie Nelson engage on the topic of climate change.RPP Colloquium: Buddhist Responses to Climate Change

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, chair of Buddhist Global Relief, and president of the Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS), and Dr. Julie A. Nelson, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Senior Research Fellow with the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, and a Dharma teacher in the Boundless Way Zen school.

Watch video: February 2016 Colloquium on Climate Change

Beyond the Headlines: Understanding and Misunderstanding Islam

Islam and the Practice of Peace Lecture Series
Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ali S. Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University, Director, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Program in Islamic Studies at Harvard University and Jeff Seul, Lecturer on the Practice of Peace, Harvard Divinity School, Chairman, Peace Appeal Foundation, Partner, Holland & Knight.

Watch video: February 2016 Lecture 'Understanding and Misunderstanding Islam'

What is Islamic in the Islamic State?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jocelyne Cesari, Chair of Religion and Politics, University of Birmingham, UK; Senior research fellow, Georgetown University’s Berkley Center on Religion, Peace and World Affairs; Visiting Professor of Religion and Politics and Associate, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, director, interfaculty program Islam in the West, Harvard University.

New England Interfaith Student Summit

Friday, February 12, 2016

Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee presents a master class in the morning. Register online.

Fear into Fortitude: Interfaith Peacebuilding Lessons from Liberia

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, leader of the interfaith women's peace movement that helped bring an end to Liberia's civil war, speaks at Northeastern University in Boston.

2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week

Monday, February 1 to Sunday, February 7, 2016

Officially declared by the United Nations in 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the Two Commandments of "Love of God, and Love of the Neighbor," joining them with "Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbor" to include all people of goodwill. It offers an opportunity every year for interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to share their activities for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding with one another and with the world. It seeks to raise awareness of cooperative interfaith activities, to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in places of worship, and to promote dialogue, learning, engagement, and collaboration to advance cultures of peace around the globe. In the spirit of fostering world interfaith harmony, we invite you to attend one of the upcoming events below at Harvard on religions and peace practice in the month of February.

Scott Appleby responses to a question and answer session with moderator Dean David Hempton.RPP Colloquium: Integral Human Development and the Moral Imagination: Implications for Religion, Development, and Peacebuilding

Thursday, January 28, 2016

R. Scott Appleby, PhD, professor of history and Marilyn Keough, Dean of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, Notre Dame.

Watch video: January 2016 Colloquium on Moral Imagination

Waking in Oak Creek: Free Film Screening and Discussion

Thursday, January 26, 2016

Waking in Oak Creek is a film about community responses after the 2012 Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Followed by panel discussion with filmmaker Patrice O'Neill and subjects Pardeep Kaleka and Arno Michaelis. Dr. Diana L. Eck, director of the Pluralism Project, will moderate.

Islam and Peaceful Coexistence: Conflict or Conciliation

Islam and the Practice of Peace Lecture Series
Friday, December 11, 2015

Imam Dr. Muhammad Nurayn Ashafa, Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Mediation Centre, Kaduna, Nigeria.

Pastor James and Imam Ashafa share their peacebuilding experience in Nigeria.RPP Colloquium: The Pastor and the Imam from Nigeria: Interfaith Strategy for Peacebuilding: Prospects and Challenges

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pastor Dr. James Movel Wuye and Imam Dr. Muhammad Nurayn Ashafa, Co-Executive Directors of the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Watch video: December 2015 Colloquium on The Pastor and the Imam

Daniel Shapiro begins his lecture on the intersection of emotions and peacebuilding.RPP Colloquium: Bridging the Religious Divide: Transforming Conflict When Emotions and Religion are at Play

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dr. Daniel L. Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, associate professor of Psychology (HMS), and Rev. Dr. Septemmy E. Lakawa, of Jakarta Theological Seminary in Indonesia, current Research Associate and Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Theology with the Women's Studies in Religion Program.

His Highness the Aga Khan: "The Cosmopolitan Ethic in a Fragmented World"

Thursday, November 12, 4 pm, Memorial Church

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program warmly welcome you to the Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture, delivered by His Highness the Aga Khan, on "Challenges to Pluralism and Cosmopolitanism Today."

Liberation through Compassion: The Practice of Tara, the Mother Liberator with Rod Owens

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rod Owens, MDiv candidate, is a student of Buddhist studies in which he focuses on the integration of Buddhism and anti-oppression work. He is also an authorized lama in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Practice of Dignity: What It Means Today

Saturday, October 24, 2015

12th Annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue

Reparations for Native American Languages? Churches, Governments, and Cultural Genocide

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dr. Richard Grounds, executive director of the Euchee/Yuchi Language Project, delivers this year's Dana McLean Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice.

Parliament of the World's Religions

Salt Lake City
Thursday, October 15–19, 2015

Professor Funk speaks to RPP Working Group StudentRPP Colloquium: Making Peace with Islam: Islamic Approaches to Peacemaking

Islam and the Practice of Peace Lecture Series
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dr. Nathan C. Funk, associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; co-author of Islam and Peacemaking in the Middle East and Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam: Precept and Practice.

Watch video: October 2015 Colloquium on Islamic Peacemaking

The Other as Your Brother: Inter-faith Understanding & the Path to Peacemaking in the Holy Land

Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 7:30 pm
MIT, Building W11-190 (Religious Activities Center, Main Dining Room), corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Amherst St. (near the chapel & student center), Cambridge.

When Religion Is a Force for Peace

Three events with representatives of the Abrahamic reunion from the Holy Land.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

11:15 am: Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 701 Foundry Street, Easton, MA
7:00 pm: Temple Kol Tikva, 9 Dunbar Street, Sharon, MA

Lunch with Bassem Tamimi and Marshall Ganz

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

12th Annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue

Building and Sustaining Nonviolent Communities: What is Our Future

Agape’s Annual St. Francis Day

Saturday, October 3, 2015

International Day of Non-Violence

United Nations

Saturday, October 2, 2015

Presentation of the KAICIID Dialogue Centre's Peace Mapping Programme

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Researchers from the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, based in Vienna, discusses the first phase of their Peace Mapping Programme, an effort to map interreligious dialogue activities around the word and assess their collective impact on peacebuilding.

Susan Hayward speaks about US Institute for PeaceRPP Colloquium: Women Religious Leaders in the Struggle for Peace

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rev. Susan Hayward, Director, Religion and Inclusive Societies, U.S. Institute of Peace; HDS ’07 graduate; co-editor, Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (USIP Press, 2015).

Watch video: September 2015 Colloquium on Women Religious Leaders

Global Unites Youth Peacebuilding Summit in Sri Lanka

Summit Dates: Friday, June 5– Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Global Unites convenes over 30 youth peacebuilders from 15 countries and Sri Lanka for an intensive five-day summit. The summit is a "training-camp" for movement builders and include interactive workshops, activities, and keynote lectures. It also serves as the formal launch of the Global Unites movement. The delegates are inspired, connected, and equipped to be more effective in youth-led conflict transformation and to create national-level movements. Delegates selected for the summit are fully funded. For more information, visit or email Tajay Bongsa (Harvard Divinity School student).

Interfaith Storytelling Series

The Problem with Prayer

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"This One Time..." a monthly Interfaith Storytelling series, invites you to listen, share, and dialogue about stories of interfaith encounter. For more info, contact Usra Ghazi at

Interfaith Storytelling Series
Stupid Cupid! Relationship Adventures in Love and Loss
Thursday, April 23, 2015

"This One Time..." a monthly Interfaith Storytelling series, invites you to listen, share, and dialogue about stories of interfaith encounter. For more info, contact Usra Ghazi at


Professor Charles Hallisey, Madhawa Palihapitiya, and Jeff Seul discuss Sri Lanka and MyanmarSri Lanka and Myanmar: Religion and Institutions of Civil Society in Conflict and Peacebuilding

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

  • Charles Hallisey, senior lecturer on Buddhist Literatures, Harvard Divinity School (HDS); former president of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies
  • Madhawa Palihapitiya, associate director, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Jeffrey R. Seul, chairman, Peace Appeal Foundation
  • With remarks by: Tajay Bongsa, special student, HDS; Buddhist monk; executive committee member, Global Unites
  • Discussant: Daniel L. Shapiro, founder and director, Harvard International Negotiation Program; associate professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital; affiliate faculty, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School

Watch video: April 2015 Colloquium on Sri Lanka and Myanmar

Alwaleed Annual Conference

Intra-Muslim Relations: Contemporary Trends in Contexts

Saturday, April 11–Sunday, April 12, 2015

The conference convenes scholars, activists, religious leaders, artists, educators, and conflict-resolution experts who offer their thoughts on and analyses of contemporary trends in intra-Muslim relations.

Two special events with Haji Syed Salman Chishty

Gaddi Nashin of the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in India and Director of the Chishty Foundation

Haji Syed Salman Chishty discusses the Philosophy of Love."The Chishty Philosophy of Love: A Living Tradition of Spiritual Ethics in Service of Humanity"
A lecture with Haji Syed Salman Chishty.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Haji Syed Salman Chishty leads post-film discussion."Sulh e Kul: Peace to All with Love from Ajmer Sharif"
A film screening and conversation with Haji Syed Salman Chishty.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Watch video: April 2015 conversation with Haji Syed Salman Chishty

The Chishty Sufi order has been sharing the message of "Love Toward All, Malice Toward None" in South Asia and around the globe through its legacy of service to the needy and promotion of tolerance and harmony since its establishment in India in the 12th century CE by Sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty, popularly known as "Khawaja Gharib Nawaz" ("Patron of the Poor"). For over 800 years, his shrine in Ajmer, India, has been a place of pilgrimage for millions of people from all backgrounds.

The message of the Chishty order and its contributions to a culture of tolerance and unity in the region were honored in 2012 at the United Nations at a celebration and seminar on "Unlearning Intolerance" sponsored by India's Permanent Mission to the UN and UN Academic Impact.

Sponsored by the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program and the Committee on the Study of Religion.

Stendahl Symposium: Conversations Across Religious Boundaries

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Harvard Divinity School (HDS) Student Association officers invite all HDS students to consider revising and submitting a paper for presentation at the annual Stendahl Symposium: Conversations Across Religious Boundaries.

The Stendahl Symposium is an annual HDS tradition in memory of former professor Krister Stendahl, who tirelessly sought to repair fractions between Jews and Christians, supported the ordination of women, and pushed for the full inclusion and participation of women and minority voices in academia and interfaith work.


Usra speaks on panelPreparing Transformative Leaders for the Religions and the Practice of Peace Domain: Engaged Learning and Collaboration Across Harvard’s Schools
Wednesday, April 1, 2015

  • Usra Ghazi, Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) candidate, Harvard Divinity School (HDS) presents: "Interfaith Youth Core's theory of change on interfaith engagement, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and narrative as a tool for leadership development and community mobilization, and prospects for international interfaith research"
  • Benjamin Marcus, MTS candidate, HDS presents: “Engaged religious literacy education learning through the lens of lived religion"
  • Elizabeth Breit, Masters of Divinity (MDiv) candidate, HDS presents: "Mediation: Facilitative listening through conflict, and the HLS Harvard Mediation Program"
  • Angela Thurston, MDiv candidate, HDS presents: "Harvard-wide approaches to leadership education and making HDS a spiritual hub for the University"
  • Alia Braley, MDiv candidate, HDS presents: "HDS Field Education in nonviolent strategy: CANVAS and the Albert Einstein Institute"
  • Daniel L. Shapiro, founder and director, Harvard International Negotiation Program; associate professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital; affiliate faculty, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School presents: "Transcending conflict: a practical approach to cosmic conflict"

Watch video: April 2015 Panel on Engaged Learning and Collaboration

Second Annual Harvard Law School Interfaith Conference

Forgiveness and the Law

Friday, March 27, 2015

Panels include "Community Healing in Light of Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, and Elsewhere," "Restorative Justice and Alternative Punishment," and "Faith and Conscience in Legal Practice."

Organized by the Catholic Law Students Association, Christian Fellowship, Jewish Law Students Association, Latter-day Saints Student Association, and Muslim Law Students Association.

Interfaith Storytelling Series

On (Un)Common Ground: Agreeing to Disagree

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"This One Time..." a monthly Interfaith Storytelling series, invites you to listen, share, and dialogue about stories of interfaith encounter. For more info, contact Usra Ghazi at

Of Many Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Harvard Divinity School professor and founder and director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University Diana L. Eck moderates the discussion.


Dr. Donna Hicks Speaks on Dignity At Religion and Approaches to Nonviolent Conflict Religion and Approaches to Nonviolent Conflict Resolution in Israel and Palestine

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

  • Donna Hicks, associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; chair, Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict; author, Dignity: The Essential Role it Plays in Resolving Conflict (2011)
  • Yakir Englander, visiting lecturer in Women's Studies and Judaism and research associate, Women’s Studies in Religion Program (WSRP), Harvard Divinity School (HDS); vice president, Kids4Peace International
  • Yousef Bashir, Palestinian from Gaza; master’s candidate, Program in Co-existence and Conflict, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Watch video: February 2015 Panel on Nonviolent Conflict Resolution


The Race Problem in US and Transnational Perspective: Justice, Religion, and Peace
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Jennifer S. Leath, visiting lecturer in Women’s Studies and Religious Ethics and research associate, Women’s Studies in Religion Program (WSRP), Harvard Divinity School (HDS); religious ethics and the African diaspora
  • Rod Owens, Masters of Divinity (MDiv) candidate in Buddhist Ministry, HDS
  • Anila Daulatzai, visiting assistant professor in Women’s Studies and Islamic Studies and WSRP research associate, HDS; socio-cultural anthropologist, Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Melissa W. Bartholomew, MDiv candidate, HDS; co-founder, Women United for Peace through Prayer

2015 World Interfaith Harmony Week

Sunday, February 1– Saturday, February 7, 2015

Officially declared by the United Nations in 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the Two Commandments of "Love of God, and Love of the Neighbor," joining them with "Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbor" to include all people of goodwill. It offers an opportunity every year for interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to share their activities for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding with one another and with the world. It seeks to raise awareness of cooperative interfaith activities, to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in places of worship, and to promote dialogue, learning, engagement, and collaboration to advance cultures of peace around the globe.

Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University celebrated World Interfaith Harmony Week from February 1–7, 2015 with events around campus aimed at promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding including:

Promoting the Practice of Peace in the 21st Century: Mobilizing Our Resources as Global Citizens, Religious Communities, and Universities
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
HDS, Sperry Room, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge

The event included remarks by Dean David N. Hempton and MDiv candidate Melissa Bartholomew, a film screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008), and a dinner dialogue and discussion moderated by Melissa Bartholomew and Professor Diana L. Eck.

Jewish Perspectives on Living in a Multifaith World
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Rabb Hall, Harvard Hillel, 52 Mt. Auburn Street Cambridge

How does Judaism view religious practice and identity in a multicultural and multifaith world? Harvard Hillel’s own Rabbi Getzel Davis leads this session that is open to everyone—no prior knowledge of Judaism or Jewish texts will be needed.

Dignity: The Role it Plays in Our Lives and Relationships

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A public talk with Donna Hicks, PhD, Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Women's Multifaceted Contributions to Sustainable Peace and the Role of Religious Resources video thumbnailWomen's Multifaceted Contributions to Sustainable Peace and the Role of Religious Resources

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rosalind I.J. Hackett, Trelawney Grenfell-Muir, Melissa W. Bartholomew, and Anila Daulatzai discuss the role of religious and spiritual resources in women's multifaceted contributions to sustainable peace and the challenges and promise of women's engagement. Opening remarks by Ann D. Braude and Q&A moderated by Dean David N. Hempton.

Watch video: January 2015 Colloquium on Women and Sustainable Peace

Interfaith Storytelling Series

Home Sweet Home: Stories of Inherited and Adopted Family

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"This One Time..." a monthly Interfaith Storytelling series, invites you to listen, share, and dialogue about stories of interfaith encounter. For more info, contact Usra Ghazi at


Professor Anne Monius Speaks at "Being Peace""Being Peace": Virtues, Inner Cultivation and Positive Social Influence: Hindu and Buddhist Cases in Comparative Perspective and Implications for Peacebuilding

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

  • Anne Monius, professor of South Asian Religions, Harvard Divinity School (HDS)
  • Leslie Hubbard, MDiv candidate, HDS; former Buddhist nun in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
  • With remarks by: Janet Gyatso, Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean, HDS; Joseph Lumbard, assistant professor of classical Islam, Brandeis University; and Elizabeth Lee-Hood, doctoral candidate in the study of religion and Islam, Harvard University

Watch video: December 2014 Panel 'Being Peace'

Religious Literacy in Dialogue at Harvard (student-led course)

Fall semester: Tuesday, September 9– Tuesday, December 2, 2014

This is a non credit-bearing, application only, semester-long undertaking meant to deepen participants’ understanding of what it means to be religiously literate. In the course, religious literacy refers to both an understanding of core concepts (including theology, doctrine, scriptural narrative, social values, religious community, and personal religious experience) as well as a facility with skills related to independent learning and analysis. The class explores the ways religion intersects with crosscutting themes related to the self and society.

Visit the Religious Literacy in Dialogue website or email Benjamin Marcus for more information.

President Jimmy Carter discusses abuse and violence toward women and girlsPresident Carter Book Tour

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

President Jimmy Carter comes to Harvard to discuss his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.

A Call to Action urges the end of discrimination and abuse against women, calling it the number one challenge in the world today. The book builds on the work of faith leaders and courageous human rights defenders who met in 2013 at The Carter Center to mobilize faith groups worldwide to commit to advancing women’s rights. Religion, they said, should be a force for equality and human dignity not oppression.

Watch video: November 2014 President Jimmy Carter discusses his latest book A Call to Action

Northern Ireland: From Conflict to Peace to Reconciliation video thumbnailNorthern Ireland: From Conflict to Peace to Reconciliation?

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In light of their experiences and research in Northern Ireland, Trelawney Grenfell-Muir, Fr. Raymond Helmick, HDS Dean David N. Hempton, Hugh O'Doherty, and Margaret Smith discuss the shift from violent conflict to peace agreement, the need for progress toward a more thoroughgoing and sustainable peace rooted in reconciliation, the positive contributions and potential of religious resources, and recommendations.

Watch video: November 2014 Colloquium on Northern Ireland

Spiritual and Sustainable: Religion Responds to Climate Change video thumbnailSpiritual and Sustainable: Religion Responds to Climate Change

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Spiritual and Sustainable: Religion Responds to Climate Change" is an interfaith conference focused on addressing the issues and challenges of maintaining a sustainable planet. Focusing on ways to engage, this conference will respond to the overlapping moral issues of climate change, sustainability, social justice, and mindfulness through the lenses of many of the world's religious traditions. Pre-registration is required.

Watch video: November 2014 Conference 'Spiritual and Sustainable'

Sufism and Buddhism: The Ethics of Shared Values

Friday, November 7, 2014

Conversations with Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi at MIT.

Religion and International Diplomacy: New Directions in Conflict Stabilization

Friday, October 31, 2014

Jerry White, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Jerry White has over twenty-five years’ experience leading change-making campaigns to prevent mass destruction and increase civilian security worldwide. A social entrepreneur and senior Ashoka Fellow, White has helped train next-generation leadership in scores of countries to transform highly contentious issues into opportunities to unify communities, generate jobs and build stability and hope.

New York WSRP Luncheon with Lihi Ben Shitrit

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Based on 18 months of field work in Israel and the West Bank, Lihi Ben Shitrit provides an inside view of the surprising political activism of women from both Jewish and Muslim conservative religious groups. Lihi Ben Shitrit is Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. Her book Righteous Transgressions is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. Registration is required.

History and Horizons of Peacebuilding video thumbnailHistory and Horizons of the Field

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium
Friday, October 29, 2014

Diana L. Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), Jeffrey R. Seul, MTS '97, partner at Holland & Knight and chairman for Peace Appeal Foundation, and Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, discuss the field of religions and peacebuilding—its history, the need for its further development, and its importance in our contemporary world—and offer recommendations for future directions. Welcome and introductions by Dean David N. Hempton.

Watch video: October 2014 Colloquium on History and Horizons

Religious Pluralism and Pragmatic Governance: The Mediterranean Experience During Fatimid Muslim Rule

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This lecture examines Fatimid Shia Ismaili Muslim governance and its impact on the medieval Mediterranean world of the 10th-11th centuries—a region inhabited by people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions. During their two and a half century rule (909-1171 CE), the Fatimid rulers, known as Imam-caliphs, developed a model of governance recognized both in medieval and modern times for its inclusivity. Christians and Jews participated actively in imperial administration and non-Shia Muslims were not compelled to adopt a Shia Ismaili interpretation of Islam. The lecture debates the extent to which Fatimid policy was the result of the interplay between doctrinal commitments and their lived experience, tempered by local conditions and communal dynamics. It focuses on how Fatimid governance was articulated and evolved over the course of the dynasty’s rule, and how salient Fatimid figures conceived the relationship between the ruler and subject. It concludes with observations on whether the Fatimid model of governance led to a distinctive relationship between the Imam-caliphs and their non-Muslim constituencies.

Multireligious Encounter as a Spiritual Practice with Usra Ghazi

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This presentation is part of a series co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) Student Association, Practicing Divinity: HDS Students Sharing Wisdom on Spiritual Practices, consisting of four, one-hour informal lunchtime presentations/workshops.

The series features HDS students sharing some of their expertise, research, and wisdom about a particular spiritual practice with other students, faculty, and staff, and each presentation briefly highlights a different spiritual practice.

Preaching, Penance, and Peacemaking in Late Medieval Italy

Monday, October 20, 2014

Katherine Jansen, Catholic University of America, discusses her most recent research Christianity in Medieval Rome.

This lecture, a piece of a larger book-length project entitled The Practice of Peace in Late Medieval Italy, places medieval dispute resolution practice in its religious context. Examining preachers, sermons, and the peace movements they inspired, the paper shows how the penitential culture of the later Middle Ages informed the theory and practice of dispute settlement in late medieval Italy. Through ritual analysis and visual evidence, the paper also builds a case for how peace-making was imagined and commemorated.

Constructing a Narrative of Reconciliation: A Personal Plea for Transformation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thursday, October 9, 2014

With Herbert C. Kelman, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics Emeritus and Co-Chair of the Middle East Seminar, Harvard University.

CEDAR: Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University presents a lecture by Adam Seligman as part of their Interfaith Engagement Series.

This talk provides an overview of CEDAR—Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion—and its 12 years of programming in different countries, and will present the pedagogy and philosophy behind the program. Emphasis is placed on issues of communal boundaries, moral credit and the collective nature of knowledge. Dr. Seligman helps us understand just what engaging with difference may mean, as an alternative to the many efforts of "finding common ground" or a "shared humanity" that define so many intercommunal and interreligious initiatives. We discuss the role of discomfort in learning and the importance of experience as opposed to book knowledge in the maturing of our moral consciousness.

Darren Kew, Religion and the Practice of Peace colloquium video thumbnailAn Interfaith Partnership for Peace: The Imam and the Pastor in Nigeria

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Darren Kew discusses the role of religion in the transformation of Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye from rival youth militant leaders to interfaith peacemakers and their subsequent conflict transformation and peacebuilding work in Nigeria and beyond. Welcome by Dean David N. Hempton and introduction by Diana L. Eck.

Darren Kew is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance and executive director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at University of Massachusetts Boston.

Watch video: September 2014 Colloquium on Interfaith Partnership in Nigeria

Atalia Omer lecture video thumbnailRefiguring American Jewish Identity through Solidarity with Palestinians: A Relational Approach to Religious Innovation

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Based on in-depth interviews with Jewish Palestine solidarity activists and systematic study of Jewish solidarity movement social media, Atalia Omer demonstrates how refiguring alternative Jewish meanings of rituals, practices, and texts may emerge from contesting Jewish nationalism and Israeli occupation policies, through solidarity with Palestinians.
Watch video: September 2014 Lecture on American Jewish Identity
Read the Q&A with Atalia Omer

Religion and the Promotion of Peace in the 21st Century

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dean David N. Hempton addressed the Harvard Alumni Association. His talk, attended by over 200 alumni leaders from across the University, focused on the ways that “religious resources—from members of religious communities to institutions and networks; and from theological and ethical ideas to spiritual practices—can play powerful roles in inspiring and sustaining efforts for peace."
Listen to audio: May 2014 Address by Dean David N. Hempton to the Harvard Alumni Association

Bridging Global Religious Divides, UMass-Boston symposiumSlomoff Symposium: Bridging Global Religious Divides

Tuesday, April 7– Wednesday, April 8, 2014

This symposium was held as part of the Annual Sylvia and Benjamin Slomoff Lectureship n Conflict Resolution at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston.
Program and video links for April 2014 Symposium (pdf)

Zilka Spahić Šiljak, WSRP Research Associate 2012-13Shining Humanity: Life Stories of Women Peace-builders in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zilka Spahic Siljak, WSRP Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer.
Watch video: April 2014 Lecture on Women Peace-builders

Faith-Based Community Organizing: How Working with the Religious Other Can Save the World on YouTubeFaith-Based Community Organizing: How Working With the Religious Other Can Save the World

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Part of CSWR junior fellow Usra Ghazi’s conversation series, "Interfaith as Antidote: Models of Faith-Based Civic Engagement"
Panelists: Marshall Ganz, Harvard Kennedy School and Graduate School of Education; Erica Rothschild, Boston’s Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action: and Yusufi Vali, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Watch video: February 2014 Conversation on Faith Based Community Organizing
Read Harvard Gazette coverage: February 2017 Conversation series

"Best of Interfaith" Webinar Series

Religions for Peace and El-Hibri Foundation
February 2014

In recognition of World Interfaith Harmony Week, the El-Hibri Foundation partnered with Religions For Peace USA in supporting a series of webinars focusing on developing interfaith skills.

Religions and Peace: Do Universities Have a Role panelReligions & Peace: Do Universities Have a Role?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hosted by Dean David N. Hempton and moderated by Diana L. Eck.
Panelists: Dean Martha Minow, Harvard Law School; Shaun Casey, U.S. Secretary of State’s special advisor for faith-based community initiatives; Matthew Hodes, director of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; Jonathan Granoff, president of Global Security Institute and special representative of United Religions Initiative; and Jocelyne Cesari, Harvard research associate and lecturer on Islamic studies.
Watch video: December 2013 Panel on Religions, Peace, and Universities

"Unlearning Intolerance: Love Toward All, Malice Toward None" Seminar, United Nations

Monday, November 26, 2012

A celebration in honor of the message of twelfth-century Sufi Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty of Ajmer. Hosted by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN and UN Academic Impact. Several presentations include remarks by Syed Salman Chishty of Ajmer (32:15-53:30); Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India (1:50-13:20); and Jonathan Granoff of the Global Security Institute (151:30-2:08).

Dean David N. Hempton delivers the 2012 Convocation AddressThe Fog of Religious Conflict

Thursday, August 30, 2012

HDS Convocation Address 2012
Dean David N. Hempton drew on the memory of violence he witnessed in Northern Ireland to offer hopeful visions for the future.
Watch video: August 2012 HDS Convocation
Read the full text of the August 2012 HDS Convocation
Read Harvard Gazette coverage of the August 2012 HDS Convocation