History

The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School is a peer-reviewed, student-led journal of religious studies, theology, and ministry. It highlights exemplary work produced by graduate students across a variety of disciplines, and complements these essays with reflections on academia, the study of religion, and the challenges of research. It is at once a forum for rigorous and compelling scholarship and a lens through which to examine and engage the modern university.

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In 2006, several students at Harvard Divinity School decided to found an academic journal. They saw this as a way to feature the work of their peers, but also to connect worlds so often separated in public and scholarly conversations. The name of the journal—Cult/ure—reflected the conviction that religion remains in a constant exchange with the cultures around it: theology, scripture, and ministry all respond to societal shifts and contribute to the larger cultural fabrics of which they are a part. 

The journal gradually expanded its mission, asserting that academic writing had a key role to play in addressing contemporary ethical challenges and creating communities of engaged thinkers. In 2010, it went online: the journal began to publish work from graduate students throughout the country, whose perspectives joined a discussion which now extended far beyond Harvard’s campus. A publication run entirely by students of religion, the journal had cultivated a scholarly network dedicated to the craft of research and the unique challenges posed by religion and theology.

The journal is now a decade old. It no longer goes by its old name—in 2015, it became The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School, instituted a process of faculty review, and diversified its content to include interviews, reviews, and other genres of scholarly writing. It is, in many ways, a different publication, with a new look, a new feel, and a new set of editorial goals, each designed to feature graduate work and to provide students with concrete tools for navigating academia and religious studies. But our core beliefs—that religion remains essential for understanding social and historical changes, and that it is in turn a force to create change—have not shifted. It is in this spirit that we continue the work of writing, of editing, and of supporting students of religion.