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.
Question: Who are we?
Peter Gomes: Well the trajectory that I see that persists, and that has been present from the very beginning, is the trajectory of curiosity, of desire, and the search for value and meaning. And I think we’ve all been caught up in that. We all want to make sense of where we are. We want where we are to be betterwere, and we want to be better than we were. There is a fundamental, moral question at the heart of our identity. And I think that has been the common search. All religions have tried to come up with answers to this – a way to frame these questions intelligently and with some system to them. But I think if there’s anything that defines us as human beings is this desire for not simply clarity and understanding. I think we have this desire for meaning, value and purpose. That’s what drives humankind. And if we can’t find it in the things that are around us, we make them up! We invent things. We create things that help us do this. And that … I think as long as there are human beings, that will always be a part of who we are. Thus I think religion is unavoidable and ineradicable. It is a part of the human DNA. We are spiritual. We are spiritually seekers. than where we
Recorded on: 6/12/07