Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson Brings Together Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh Communities

The president of the Auburn Theological Seminary in NYC is on a quest to "rebrand God"

by Alexis Jetter
rev. dr. katharine henderson image
Photograph: Angela Jimenez

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson knows where she got her reformer’s zeal: As a child in Louisville, Kentucky, she accompanied her biblical-professor father and church- leader mother on civil rights marches. At age 10, she traveled with them to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. “Learning that history at such a young age showed me that people were capable of enormous evil,” she recalls, “but that it was also important to stand up for what you believe.”

Today, Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City and author of God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith Are Changing the World, works to bring together the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities. At Auburn she has spearheaded a multi-faith movement that she calls rebranding God: “That’s shorthand for saying, A lot of bad things have been done in the name of God, so we need to be proactive in our efforts to redeem his name. Re-ligion can be a force for good.”

Henderson is excited about the changes she sees in religious life. “People tend to inflate how often they go to church, much as they inflate how much sex they’re having,” she says. “But the fastest-growing group is people who say they’re spiritual but un-affiliated. We’re moving beyond labels. What I see now is a multifaith movement to transform the world.”

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First Published Wed, 2012-12-26 14:00

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