In Memoriam: Constance Hall Buchanan, 1947-2020

Constance Buchanan, the former director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on September 16, 2020, at her home in New York City. She was 73 years old.

A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, Buchanan graduated from Barnard College in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in history. She later earned a master’s degree in European history from Brown University.

After teaching at what is now Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, she was hired to lead the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School in 1977. A faculty member and associate dean at Harvard Divinity School for 20 years, Buchanan is credited with leading the Women’s Studies in Religion Program into an internationally recognized center for research on faith, gender, race, and sexual orientation.

During her time at Harvard, Buchanan also spent six years as a special assistant to university President Derek Bok. She was the author of Choosing to Lead: Women and the Crisis of American Values (Beacon Press,1996).

In 1997, Buchannan left Harvard to take a position at the Ford Foundation. She retired in 2006.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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