From the Sublime to the Divine: Honoring a Professor of Theology and Literature

A new scholarship fund at the Yale Divinity School honors Professor Emeritus Peter Hawkins for his dedication to students and his enduring influence on the study of religion and literature.

Yale Divinity School (YDS) alumnus Stephen Henderson ’87 MAR and his husband, James LaForce, have established a scholarship fund named for Peter Hawkins ’75 PhD, a renowned scholar of Dante whose seminar on the Divine Comedy was for decades one of the most coveted courses at YDS. Hawkins, who held the first faculty position dedicated to theology and literature, retired in 2019 after a forty-three-year teaching career.

Henderson credits his decision to attend YDS to a chance meeting with Hawkins and considers his years at Yale to be transformative. “It is a cliché, of course, to say that something was a ‘life-changing experience,’ but attending YDS was exactly that,” he says. “The professors I studied with expanded my mind, heart, and soul.”

The scholarship fund was established as part of the Divinity School’s new We Are Called fundraising campaign, which launched in October 2022 and runs through December 2026.

Read more about the Peter Hawkins Scholarship Fund.

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