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October 19, 2022

Co-sponsored by The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard  & In Lumine Network 

Forgiveness is central to Jesus’s message, yet embodying it can be challenging. Emerging psychological research offers insights into how to identify and overcome barriers to forgiveness, yet this work is often done without reference to theological ideas. In this talk, Stephen Pope, professor of theology at Boston College, and Richard Cowden, psychology research associate at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, will bring these disciplines together to explore theological and psychological insights about the nature of forgiveness, its importance in the human experience, and how to cultivate it in daily practice. This talk will model how religion and science can work together to further our understanding of how to live a Christian life.

Stephen J. Pope is a Professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College, where he teaches courses on social justice, the virtues, and the intersection of science and theology. He received his BA in philosophy from Gonzaga University and his MA and Ph.D. in theological ethics from the University of Chicago. His publications include Human Evolution and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and A Step Along the Way: Models of Christian Service (Orbis, 2015). He has worked for many years as a volunteer for Catholic chaplaincies in several Massachusetts prisons, and presented in a variety of workshops focused on the contribution of faith communities to restorative justice and political reconciliation.

Richard G. Cowden is a psychology research associate at Harvard at the Human Flourishing Program.He is a social-personality psychologist and he completed his doctoral training at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has written 40+ scholarly articles and book chapters that address various aspects of human flourishing in a wide range of populations.

This event is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide.” The opinions expressed in this event are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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