Harvard scholar to discuss religious tolerance in Hingham

Harvard University Divinity School scholar Diane L. Moore.

In an event planned long before the onset of the Trump presidency, a Harvard Divinity School scholar will appear at a Hingham monastery to speak about combating religious discrimination and hate speech.

Diane L. Moore, director of the divinity school’s religious literacy project, will specifically address three topics during her Thursday, Feb. 16, lecture at Glastonbury Abbey: religious tolerance, understanding different faiths, and the benefits of the latter for both the general public and religious communities.


“I’m so grateful to the abbey for these public conversations,” she said.

The presentation’s theme, living in a polarized world, was selected more than a year ago as the uncivil presidential election was just gathering steam. The event’s organizers were certainly cognizant of the nation’s divisive political climate at the time, but could not have anticipated the turbulence of President Trump’s first weeks in office.

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“We are all thinking it is serendipity,” said Hayes Shea, the monastery’s director of mission advancement, about the timing of the lecture.

Throughout the election campaign, Moore said, she noticed a rise in hate speech and discrimination in small and large ways. She said she plans to touch upon Trump’s travel ban executive order, the push to build a wall, and the potential deregulation of the financial markets during her talk.

“The tenor and tone of the entire presidential election was terrifying to me as a citizen,” she said.


The presentation is part of an annual lecture series “Listening to Other Voices.” Each year, the monastery selects a general theme for a series of lectures that take place from October to April.

Shea said the speakers in this year’s lecture series coincidentally touched on issues, from racism to violence, that are currently at the “forefront of the American consciousness.”

The free presentation is set for 7:15 p.m. at Glastonbury Abbey’s Morcone Conference Center, 20 Hull St., Hingham. Next month, the penultimate speaker in this year’s series will address the emotional toll the nation’s current immigration policies have taken on undocumented families.

Alejandro Serrano can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @serrano_alej.
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