At HDS, establishing a place for peace

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Far too often, and seemingly more and more in recent months, conversations and headlines are driven by death, fear, and hate. There’s much less focus on cooperation, service, and peace.

With that in mind, and while also recognizing the need to highlight and enable peacebuilding actions around the world, Harvard Divinity School Dean David N. Hempton announced that the School is seeking an endowed faculty chair and program for the Religions and the Practice of Peace (RPP) initiative.

“This will ensure the Divinity School will always have on its faculty a world-class scholar and practitioner to drive these important programs well into the future,” Hempton said. “Making this possible, however, will require the support of generous philanthropy or foundations who share our vision and commitment. We believe that a permanent program of this kind at Harvard stands to make a real difference and is one of the most critical investments we can make in our future.”

Hempton explained that fostering a sustainable peace around the globe is one of the pivotal issues of our time.

Addressing the daunting problems of climate change, chronic poverty, limited access to education, and global health epidemics, among others, will require an unprecedented degree of intercultural dialogue and cooperation, both at local and global levels. However, both new and old conflicts around the globe are hampering the efforts to work effectively together to address those urgent crises and are instead worsening conditions.