Divinity school

School Notes: Yale Divinity School
September/October 2020

Gregory E. Sterling | http://divinity.yale.edu

Former dean retires

Harold W. Attridge, Sterling Professor of New Testament and former Yale Divinity School dean, is ending a 23-year career of active service to YDS, where he will always be remembered for leading the school through turmoil and renewal. “Harry resurrected YDS and Yale’s standing in the larger theological world,” said Greg Sterling, who became dean after Attridge returned to the classroom in 2012. During his decade as dean, Attridge helped lead the school’s physical renovation, built a world-renowned senior faculty, and dramatically improved the school’s financial health. In the process, he revitalized the YDS tradition of excellence and transformed the school into a locus of intellect and faith. An in-depth career-retrospective profile of Attridge is available on the Divinity School website.

Faculty panels explore COVID-19, racism

As the nation reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic and engaged in a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice, Yale Divinity School organized and broadcast a faculty panel discussion on each of the overlapping crises. The first of the two, titled “Life and Death Decisions,” convened four professors for an examination of the ethical issues posed by the pandemic, from the need to resist the idea of a trade-off between economic recovery and public health, to apportioning finite medical resources when demand outstrips supply. The second, titled “From Words to Work: Dismantling Racism,” delved into actions needed to confront and undo structural racism in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing by Minneapolis police. Among the topics explored were racism in policing, the responsibility of white people to dismantle racism, and theological dimensions of anger and indignation. Both panels were moderated by Dean Greg Sterling and are available for viewing on the Divinity School’s YouTube channel.

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