History

In 2011, Diane L. Moore proposed the creation of the Religious Literacy Project (RLP) to sustain Harvard Divinity School’s legacy of enhancing the public understanding of religion through education. Thanks to a generous start-up gift by Bruce McEver, MTS ’11 and the support of Deans William Graham and David Hempton, the Religious Literacy Project program and website was launched in the spring of 2015.  

As demand has grown for the RLP’s approach to the understanding of religion, the program has received extraordinary support. In 2016, the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs supported the RLP’s joint research with Oxfam to advance religious literacy in humanitarian action.

In 2017, generous donations from Akhil Gupta and Ralph James allowed the RLP to expand its staffing and create new programs.

The RLP’s work with educators at the high school and community college levels has also received support from the Once Here Foundation.

In 2018 the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation supported further expansion of the RLP’s work with professionals in the fields of journalism, humanitarian action, business and government, enabling the RLP to recruit professional fellows in their fields to mentor, teach and help broker internships for HDS students.

In 2018, Ramez and Tiziana Sousou provided a groundbreaking gift in support of the new 4-year Religion, Conflict and Peace Initiative, jointly offered with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

The RLP is extraordinarily grateful to its donors as it continues to expand in response to growing demand.