RPP Colloquium

Religions and the Practice of Peace Colloquium Series

This monthly public series, convened by Dean David N. Hempton of HDS, brings together a cross-disciplinary RPP Working Group of faculty, experts, graduate students, and alumni from across Harvard University and the local area to explore topics and cases in religions and the practice of peace. A diverse array of scholars, leaders, and religious peacebuilders are invited to present and engage with the RPP Working Group and general audience. A light dinner is served and a brief reception follows the program.

Join us for our RPP Colloquium Series in 2018-19:

Fall Dates: September 27, October 18, and December 6, 2018 from 6:00-8:30 pm.
Spring Dates: February 14, March 14, and April 11 from 6:00-8:30 pm.

CSWR Event and RPP Colloquium: The Public Practice of Abrahamic Religions
Thursday, September 27, 2018 

It is commonplace today to group the three monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—under the category of the “Abrahamic.” Scholars have investigated the roots, ancient and modern, for this category, and continue to debate its contemporary merits. Meanwhile, practitioners are doing significant work in the wider world under the aegis of the “Abrahamic.” This panel will explore the public practice of the Abrahamic Religions. Panelists will reflect on their work in light of this category, including its strengths and limitations.

Featuring Huda Abuarquob, Alliance for Middle East Peace, Joseph Montville, George Mason University, Stephanie Saldaña, The Abraham Path, and chaired by Charles Stang, Harvard Divinty School. 

An Event of the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) and an RPP Colloquium. Cosponsored with the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

RPP Colloquium: Urban Alchemy, Post-Conflict Healing: Art Transforms
Thursday, October 18, 2018

This session to inform the Sustainable Peace Initiative will feature artist Lily Yeh. To heal the wounded, to reconnect the broken, and to make the invisible visible have been the goals of her life’s work. Yeh will describe her most important projects in the US, China, Kenya, and Rwanda, demonstrating how art can be used to heal individuals and transform communities. She will discuss the forces and moments that have shaped her life and work, and will show how her work has inspired others to take action.

Featuring Lily Yeh, MFA, University of Pennsylvania; moderator Melissa W. Bartholomew, MDiv '15 HDS; Racial Justice Fellow and cofounder of the Racial Justice and Healing Initiative student group at Harvard Divinity School; PhD student, and MSW '17 at Boston College School of Social Work; JD '97, Howard University School of Law; creator of Healers of the Wound; and discussant Terry Tempest Williams, Writer-in-Residence at Harvard Divinity School; cofounder of The Constellation Project committed to cross-disciplinary conversations regarding planetary health and environmental justice; resident of Castle Valley, Utah.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

RPP Colloquium: Natural “SuperCooperation” and the Future of Our Human Family: Evolutionary Dynamics, Altruistic Virtues, and Spiritual Resources
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Evolution is an organizing principle of the living world. While competition is integral to evolution, cooperation can be seen as the master architect of biological complexity, language, and culture.  Human beings have emerged from this evolutionary process as “SuperCooperators.”  Nowak will discuss the scientific interpretation of evolution and its compatibility with Christian theology, which holds that God is the primary cause for all that exists, the creator and sustainer of the universe. 

In conversation with members of the Sustainable Peace Initiative, Nowak will offer insights on how evolutionary dynamics, altruistic virtues of “SuperCooperation,” and spiritual resources can be leveraged to advance sustainable peace and on the potential role of universities.

Featuring Martin Nowak, Professor of Mathematics and of Biology at Harvard University and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, moderator and discussant Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and associate dean for faculty and academic affairs at Harvard Divinity School, and discussant Anne Monius, Professor of South Asian Religions at Harvard Divinity School.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Visit the RPP Video Archive to view videos and full descriptions of past RPP Colloquium sessions since 2014, including the 2017-18 sessions.

The RPP Colloquium is hosted in 2018-19 with generous support from The Reverend Karen Vickers Budney, MDiv '91 and Mr. Albert J. Budney, Jr., MBA '74, the Once Here Foundation, as well as the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities at Harvard University.

RPP Voices

Jonathan Granoff

Unless we have places where there is dialogue, discussion, and discovery of the norms and relationships that people have, we will not be able to nurture and grow the ethical foundation for a global community.

—Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute and special representative of the United Religions Initiative