Peter Gomes
Professor, Harvard Divinity School; Reverend, The Memorial Church at Harvard
01:16

The Legacy Of Peter Gomes

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“He made us think” would be a very nice epitaph.

Peter Gomes

Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister who has served in The Memorial Church at Harvard University since 1970. Gomes is also the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and is the Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church. Gomes is commonly regarded as one of the most distinguished preachers in America. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life and offered prayers in the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Educated at Bates College and the Harvard Divinity School, Revered Gomes alsoholds thirty-six honorary degrees. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, including the national best-sellers TheGood Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons:Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living. 

Transcript

Gomes: Well that is not an easy question, which is why you doubtless put it to me.  I hope that I will always be thought of as a thoughtful preacher, that I took the life and the mind seriously, that I didn’t toy with people’s emotions, that I worked very hard in trying to find the right words to convey the right ideas.  I’d like people to think that that’s what I did and that I did it well – that I did it over a long period of time in a wide variety of places.  It would please me to be thought of as effective both in an exalted place like the Memorial Church of Harvard University, and in a very modest pulpit like South Pond Chapel in the dark woods of Plymouth, Massachusetts – that I was, in those remarkably different settings, to make people think, and to cause them to react and to respond.  That’s what I’m interested in.  And I would hope that that would be the legacy that I would leave behind.  “He made us think” would be a very nice epitaph.


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