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Occupation: Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity, emeritus, at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Achievements: Kaufman is the author of numerous articles and reviews as well as 12 books, including In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology (Harvard University Press, 2006), winner of an American Academy of Religion Award. An ordained minister in the Mennonite Church for 50 years, he has taught at universities across the United States and in India, Japan, South Africa, England, and Hong Kong. Kaufman has distinguished himself as a leading American philosophical theologian, articulating how theology is a constructive human activity that is fundamentally concerned with how life is to be lived.
On creativity: “Today we have a fuller understanding of our universe and of the creativity that has brought it into being—and like the old creativity story, this new one also is profoundly mysterious. The story begins with the so-called Big Bang, which occurred some 14 billion years ago. This mysterious creativity continued through many evolutionary stages, over billions of years. Eventually conditions were such that life could be created; and it appeared on planet Earth. I am suggesting that we think of God not as a humanlike creator but simply as this creativity itself. Evolutionary thinking is no threat to God-the-mystery, nor a threat to faith. It is a kind of thinking that brings all that is into intimate relation with the mystery of God.”
Occupation: Author and fellow at the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a nonresident fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University
Achievements:As a journalist, Manegold covered international affairs, politics, social issues, and wars for the New York Times, Newsweek, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications before turning to longer projects. In 1994 she won a Pulitzer Prize as part of the New York Times team assigned to cover the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center. Her first book, In Glory’s Shadow: The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, and a Changing America (Vintage, 2001), explored the Citadel’s battle over admitting a female cadet in the 1990s. Manegold is now working on her second book, Ten Hills Farm, a study of slavery and race on a 600-acre Massachusetts farm from Puritan times to the present.
On failure: “Do what you are going to do with energy and passion. But if some time along this path you find you have chosen a road that does not fit you well, then please remember: Life is not a one-note symphony. It’s the high notes and the low notes that make music. To succeed, you have to give yourself the liberty to sometimes fail. It is what you do with those failures that counts most. When you feel discomfort, heed your discomfort, explore it, and respect it.”
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