Nearly 400 Years After Being Founded to Begin Educating America’s Ministers, Harvard Makes Big Change at Top Chaplain Position

It’s been clear for a very long time that Harvard is now not Harvard.

An establishment that was based in 1636 and as soon as educated one of the best and brightest of younger American minds has become simply one other progressive college.

However what folks neglect round Harvard is that it skilled members of the clergy in its early years. And primarily based on that customary, the college has actually jumped the shark.

In line with The New York Times, Harvard has unanimously elected a brand new chief chaplain — an atheist. His identify is Greg Epstein, and he wrote the guide “Good With out God: What a Billion Nonreligious Individuals Do Consider.”

Epstein, who took workplace the week of Aug. 23, has been the humanist chaplain at Harvard since 2005, educating college students in regards to the motion that facilities the relationships of individuals with one another as a substitute of with God.


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“There’s a rising group of people that now not establish with any non secular custom however nonetheless expertise an actual want for dialog and assist round what it means to be an excellent human and reside an moral life,” Epstein, 44, informed the Instances.

You’ll suppose this unorthodox choice would trigger some  controversy on campus, however the reverse is true.

No person appears to thoughts.

“Possibly in a extra conservative college local weather there could be a query like, ‘What the heck are they doing at Harvard, having a humanist be the president of the chaplains?’” mentioned Margit Hammerstrom, the Christian Science chaplain at Harvard.

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“However on this atmosphere it really works. Greg is thought for wanting to maintain traces of communication open between completely different faiths.”

Charlotte Nickerson, an engineering pupil on the faculty, agreed, arguing that Epstein’s choice “isn’t about theology.”

“It’s about cooperation between folks of various faiths and bringing collectively individuals who wouldn’t usually think about themselves non secular,” Nickerson continued.

In line with The Hill, Epstein’s fundamental accountability in his new place is coordinating the efforts of greater than 40 chaplains representing 20 completely different religions.

However Epstein’s statements on how he intends to perform that objective appear to be loads of phrases with little that means.


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“I wish to assist college students and the college neighborhood collectively round the truth that it’s been a very attempting time and nearly anyone may very well be anticipated to have misplaced just a little religion in humanity in recent times,” Epstein informed The Guardian final week.

“We have now lots that divides us theologically, however we have now an incredible quantity in frequent in relation to our shared needs … to assist the human beings in our neighborhood as they attempt to reside lives of that means and function in a world that may typically threaten to rob us of (these senses), no matter our beliefs.”

All in all, Harvard’s choice is a case of bucking custom for the sake of bucking custom.

Whereas the college hasn’t been formally sectarian since the 1880s, that tradition was embedded into Harvard for a very long time afterward.

It’s wonderful that so a few years of custom may come crashing down so shortly. | Almost 400 Years After Being Based to Start Educating America’s Ministers, Harvard Makes Large Change at Prime Chaplain Place

Huynh Nguyen

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