In Memory of Paul Hanson

In Memory of Paul Hanson

We give thanks for the life of Paul David Hanson, a longtime member of University Lutheran Church, who died on June 9, 2023. Paul was the Florence Corliss Lamont Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Harvard Divinity School; the former co-master of Harvard’s Winthrop House (with his wife, Cynthia Rosenberger); and the author of several influential books, including A Political History of the Bible in America (Westminster/John Knox, 2015). He also taught at Harvard Extension School for more than twenty-five years, offering popular courses such as “The Bible and Politics.”

A smiling Cynthia Rosenberger and Paul Hanson pose in the narthex of University Lutheran Church.
Cynthia Rosenberger and Paul Hanson at University Lutheran in 2005. Photo by Chris Pollari.

At University Lutheran, Paul was generous with his knowledge, leading student Bible studies and congregational discussions regularly from the 1970s through the 2010s. The retreats that he and Cynthia hosted at their home in Maine are fondly remembered by generations of students and young adults. Paul also served on the University Lutheran Church Council in the 1980s; as a trustee of the University Lutheran Campus Ministry Continuing Trust in the 2000s; and as chair of the Government Sources Committee for the 1998 capital campaign.

A Celebration of Life for Paul Hanson took place at University Lutheran Church on Sunday, July 2, 2023. The service was available both in person and on Zoom.

Gifts in Paul’s memory

Gifts in Paul’s memory may be made to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the International Rescue Committee, or the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (on the UniLu giving form, select “Other” and specify “Harvard Square Shelter”).

May God comfort Paul’s family, his many students and colleagues; and all who mourn.

Other tributes