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Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture: Dr. Harvey Cox

Harvey Cox

Dr. Harvey G. Cox Jr., Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School and one of the nation’s preeminent theologians, will deliver the 2012 Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture on Monday, November 5, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in Monumental Chapel.  Dr. Cox’s talk is entitled “Freedom of Religion in America: Its Rocky Past and Its Future Prospects.”

Cox, an ordained American Baptist minister, taught at Harvard Divinity School from 1965 until his retirement in 2009.  While working in the campus ministry at Oberlin College in 1957, he hosted a dinner attended by Martin Luther King Jr. at which Dr. King met some of those who would become his closest advisors during the Civil Rights movement.

Widely quoted and interviewed by both print and broadcast media around the world, Cox rose to international prominence with the publication of The Secular City in 1965.  In this highly influential work Cox claimed that the church should be an agent of social change, arguing that God is equally present in both the secular and religious realms of life.  The book became an international bestseller and has been called one of the most influential books of Protestant theology in the twentieth century.  

Dr. Cox has authored more than a dozen other books, taking up a broad range of subjects including liberation theology, religious pluralism and interfaith encounter, and Pentecostalism.  His most recent book is The Future of Faith (2009), which addresses the increasing emphasis on spirituality over doctrine among large numbers of Christians.  In his Cookson lecture, Dr. Cox will discuss the implications of this shift for religious freedom.

The Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture Series is named for the Center’s founding director, Dr. Catharine Cookson.  Previous Cookson lecturers include Dr. Martin Marty (2006), Dr. Diana Eck (2008), Dr. Ursula Goodenough (2009), Dr. Douglas A. Hicks (2010), and Dr. Charles C. Haynes (2011).

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