August 2017

Rewriting History, Part I of III

Rewriting History Sermon Series

Sermon by Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, for the Memorial Church's Sunday Worship Service. 


“Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8


The book of Exodus is one of the most famous literary works of human history. It’s the second book of the Pentateuch, the term for the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. It picks up where the legend of Genesis ends. The book’s primary protagonist has become the archetype of moral courage, and a political paragon of anti-oppression. His name is Moses.... Read more about Rewriting History, Part I of III

From the Professor's Desk: Fall Term 2017

By Professor Jonathan L. Walton

“How carefully most men creep into nameless graves, while now and again one or two forget themselves into immortality.”  —The Rev. Phillips Brooks

On Feb. 3, 1943, tragedy struck the SS Dorchester, an American troop transport ship traveling in a naval convoy in the North Atlantic. With the ship less than two hundred miles from its intended destination in Greenland, a German U-boat fired a torpedo into its side. Conditions could not have been worse for evacuation and rescue. The ship was originally built as a luxury liner with a maximum capacity of 400, then converted to military use early in 1942. Even though it had been equipped by the military with additional lifeboats and life jackets, the lifeboats proved too crowded and the life jackets too few for the approximately 900 officers, servicemen, and civilians aboard. For those who were able to evacuate the sinking ship, hypothermia awaited in the frigid ocean. Ultimately, only about a quarter of those aboard the vessel survived.... Read more about From the Professor's Desk: Fall Term 2017

Tough Talk from Weak Men

By Jonathan L. Walton

Charlottesville 20170812
Photo: Associated Press

“The past is not dead. It’s not even the past.” –William Faulkner

Last week the President of the United States employed tough talk in response to the escalating tension with North Korea. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump declared from his New Jersey golf resort. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Diplomats from many sides found his threat troubling. Yet rather than toning down his rhetoric, the President took to twitter to declare that the United States is “locked and loaded.” One might call this his John Wayne approach to international relations.... Read more about Tough Talk from Weak Men