Study of the Divinity School's Role in the Contemporary University

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Thu, 01/01/1987
End Date: 
Sun, 01/01/1989

Ronald Thiemann, Dean of Harvard Divinity School, developed a program for linking the Divinity School more closely to the life of the university, especially its eight other graduate and professional schools. Specifically, there were two projects: a study of the place of theology and theological education in the contemporary university, which resulted in a publication; and the initiation of joint programs and diverse collaborative efforts with the other Harvard schools through the creation of a new administrative position at the Divinity School. The project addressed the problem of the marginal status of the school within the university and of theology in relation to the disciplines of the arts and sciences and public policy fields. An important goal of the project was the development of a proposal for a critical and public theology that would allow divinity schools to re-establish their significance within the mission of the larger university while providing a witness worth heeding within the public realm. The school also planned to establish a Center for the Study of Religion, Values, and Public Affairs related to the university program in ethics and public policy. (KA)