Constance Hall Buchanan, pioneering leader of women’s studies in religion at Harvard, dies at 73

Ms. Buchanan, who was 73 when she died Sept. 16 in her home in Manhattan of complications from Parkinson’s disease, helped change that through her longtime role at Harvard Divinity School.

As director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program for two decades, she championed bringing women into the virtually all-male faculty ranks at the divinity school and other institutions, and she created paths for them to become powerful voices in theological studies nationally.

At issue was more than simply making a male-dominated academic field more welcoming to women.

“She saw the equality of women as a moral issue. She didn’t see it solely as a political issue or an issue of human rights,” Ann Braude, who now directs the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, said in an interview.

“Connie understood that religious scholarship had important public ramifications,” Braude said, “and that women’s rights could not

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