Harvard Divinity School

Drawing on its historical strength in Christian studies and its significant resources in global religious studies, Harvard Divinity School educates scholars, teachers, ministers, and other professionals for leadership and service both nationally and internationally. To help in building a world in which people can live and work together across religious and cultural divides, we strive to be a primary resource in religious and theological studies for the academy, for religious communities, and in the public sphere.

Sub-Collections

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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Cover: James and Royce Reconsidered: Reflections on the Centenary of <i>Pragmatism</i>

James and Royce Reconsidered: Reflections on the Centenary of Pragmatism

Lamberth, David C.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, William James and Josiah Royce, both professors of philosophy at Harvard, towered over American philosophy and exerted wide influence on European thought. This volume offers a unique view of the state of the discussion on James and Royce across several disciplines. It is noteworthy both for the presence of most leading scholars in the field and for its attention to the European influence of these thinkers and the revival of interest in America and Europe.

Cover: Douglas Horton and the Ecumenical Impulse in American Religion

Douglas Horton and the Ecumenical Impulse in American Religion

Trost, Theodore Louis

In this first complete biography of Douglas Horton, we are introduced to an extremely important but surprisingly unheralded twentieth-century religious leader. Horton worked tirelessly for church and world unity under the banner of ecumenism. He introduced Americans to the work of Swiss theologian Karl Barth, was the chief architect of the denominational merger that formed the United Church of Christ, presided over the transformation of the Harvard Divinity School from a near moribund institution to a distinguished center of religious learning, and coordinated the Protestant presence at the Second Vatican Council.

Cover: Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority

Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority

Brock, Ann Graham

Why did some early Christians consider Mary Magdalene to be an apostle while others did not? Some Christian texts, underlining her role as one of the very first witnesses to the resurrection, portray Mary Magdalene as the “apostle to the apostles,” while other sources exclude or replace her in their resurrection accounts. This book examines how the conferral, or withholding, of apostolic status operated as a tool of persuasion in the politics of early Christian literature.

Cover: An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity

An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity

Nasrallah, Laura

Who is a true prophet? Who has real access to divine realms of knowledge? Early Christian communities accused each other’s prophets of madness and of making false claims to divine knowledge. This book argues that early Christians did not seek to answer questions about true prophecy or to define madness and rationality, but rather used this discourse in order to control knowledge, to establish their own authority, and to define Christian identity.

Cover: Ephesos, Metropolis of Asia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Its Archaeology, Religion, and Culture

Ephesos, Metropolis of Asia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Its Archaeology, Religion, and Culture

Koester, Helmut

This volume brings together studies of Ephesos—a major city in the Greco-Roman period and a primary center for the spread of Christianity into the Western world—by an international array of scholars from the fields of classics, fine arts, history of religion, New Testament, ancient Christianity, and archaeology.

Cover: Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Schowalter, Daniel N.
Friesen, Steven J.

This book discusses the history, topography, and urban development of Corinth with special attention to civic and private religious practices in the Roman colony. Expert analysis of the latest archaeological data is coupled with consideration of what can be known about the emergence and evolution of religions in Corinth. The volume seeks to gain insight into the nature of the Greco-Roman city visited by Paul, and the ways in which Christianity gradually emerged as the dominant religion.

Cover: Sayings Traditions in the <i>Apocryphon of James</i>

Sayings Traditions in the Apocryphon of James

Cameron, Ron

The discovery and publication of the Apocryphon of James has significantly expanded the spectrum of early Christian literature about Jesus. Cameron provides a form-critical analysis which aims to clarify the ways in which the sayings of Jesus were used and transformed in early Christian communities. By recognizing the importance of this particular document, scholars will no longer be able to regard the synoptic gospels of the New Testament as unique or sufficient for understanding the trajectory of the Jesus tradition.

Cover: Jesus among Her Children: Q, Eschatology, and the Construction of Christian Origins

Jesus among Her Children: Q, Eschatology, and the Construction of Christian Origins

Johnson-DeBaufre, Melanie

This book explores how scholarly constructions of Christian origins participate in contemporary efforts to confirm or challenge particular understandings of the essence of Christianity. Johnson-DeBaufre offers alternative readings to key Q texts, readings that place an interest in the community that shaped Jesus at the center of inquiry.

Cover: Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity

Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity

Pearson, Lori K.

This book demonstrates the intimate connection between Troeltsch’s philosophical writings on the essence of Christianity and his historical investigations of Christianity’s past. Pearson argues that as a result of his historical work, Troeltsch moved beyond the category of essence and sought new ways of theorizing Christian identity in the context of modernity’s pluralistic yet fragmented society.

Cover: The Faithful Shepherd: A History of the New England Ministry in the Seventeenth Century, With a New Introduction

The Faithful Shepherd: A History of the New England Ministry in the Seventeenth Century, With a New Introduction

Hall, David D.

This description of the Americanization of the Puritan ministry as it was transported to the New England colonies offers a host of new insights into American religious history. This book also affords the reader one of the freshest and most comprehensive histories of the seventeenth-century New England mind and society.

Cover: Capitalism as Religion? A Study of Paul Tillich's Interpretation of Modernity

Capitalism as Religion? A Study of Paul Tillich's Interpretation of Modernity

Yip, Francis Ching-Wah

The relationship between religion and modern culture remains a controversial issue within Christian theology. This book focuses on Paul Tillich’s interpretation of modern culture and the influence of capitalism. Using the concept of “cultural modernity,” Francis Ching-Wah Yip reconstructs Tillich’s interpretation of modernity and shows that Tillich’s notion of theonomy served to underscore the problems of modernity and to develop a response.

Cover: Tradition and Composition in the <i>Epistula Apostolorum</i>

Tradition and Composition in the Epistula Apostolorum

Hills, Julian V.

In the first major study in English of the Epistle of the Apostles (Epistula Apostolorum), Julian V. Hills probes its remarkable witness to the traditions that circulated in Jesus’ name in the second century. Hills tackles the document’s literary framework, collecting and assessing signals to its composition. In detailed analyses of passages, Hills shows how older traditions were reshaped and interpreted according to the distinctive communal situation and theological vision of the author. This expanded edition of the out-of-print original, published in 1990, includes a new preface and bibliography.

Cover: Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism and Early Christianity: Expanded Edition

Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism and Early Christianity: Expanded Edition

Nickelsburg, George W. E.

In this groundbreaking publication, originally published in 1972, George Nickelsburg places ideas in their historical circumstances as he probes biblical and postbiblical texts and challenges widely accepted scholarship. This book provides a window into aspects of the ancient apocalyptic worldview whose dynamics and functions are often misunderstood.

Cover: Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job

Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job

Schifferdecker, Kathryn

The book of Job is a complex treatment of the problem of undeserved suffering. It is also a sustained meditation on creation, on humanity’s place in creation, and on God’s ordering of creation. In this study, Kathryn Schifferdecker offers a close literary and theological reading of the book of Job—particularly of God’s speeches at the end of the book—in order to articulate its creation theology, which is particularly pertinent in our environmentally-conscious age.

Cover: Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Luijendijk, AnneMarie

This is the first book-length study on Christians in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, the site where some of the most important and oldest fragments of early Christian books were unearthed. Bringing the people in these dry papyrus letters and documents back to life, the book reveals how diverse Christians lived in this city of diverse situations.

Cover: The Surprising Election and Confirmation of King David

The Surprising Election and Confirmation of King David

Short, J. Randall

Why was the story of David’s rise to kingship included in the Bible? A popular answer is that it should be interpreted as the “apology of David”: the personal justification of King David against charges that he illegitimately usurped Saul’s throne. Comparisons between “the History of David’s Rise” and the Hittite “Apology of Hattušili,” appear to support this view. Randall Short contends that this story should not be interpreted as an exoneration and instead was composed for faithful readers, depicting the dramatic confirmation of David’s surprising election through his gradual emergence as the beloved son of Jesse, Saul, all Israel, and yhwh Himself.

Cover: From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē: Studies in Religion and Archaeology

From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē: Studies in Religion and Archaeology

Nasrallah, Laura
Bakirtzis, Charalambos
Friesen, Steven J.

This volume brings together international scholars of religion, archaeologists, and scholars of art and architectural history to investigate social, political, and religious life in Roman and early Christian Thessalonikē, an important metropolis in the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian periods and beyond.

Cover: The Poetics of Iblīs: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an

The Poetics of Iblīs: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an

Bodman, Whitney S.

This volume explores the origins of Iblīs as a tragic figure in the Qur’an. Although it is often said that there is no place for tragedy in Islam, Bodman’s careful examination of the Iblīs story shows that the tragic exists even in the Qur’an and forms part of the vision of medieval Sufi mystics and modern social critics alike.

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Capitalism and Its Discontents [picture of the ruins of a house]