Harvey Cox

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Harvey Cox (History and Philosophy of Religion, Harvard University, 1963; B.D., Yale Divinity School, 1955) was Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, where he had been teaching since 1965, both at HDS and in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, until his retirement in 2009.

An American Baptist minister, Cox was the Protestant chaplain at Temple University and the director of religious activities at Oberlin College; an ecumenical fraternal worker in Berlin; and a professor at Andover Newton Theological School. His research and teaching interests focus on the interaction of religion, culture, and politics. Among the issues he explores are: urbanization, theological developments in world Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations, and current spiritual movements in the global setting. His most recent book is When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Decisions Today. His Secular City, published in 1965, became an international bestseller with more than 1 million copies sold. It was selected by the University of Marburg as one of the most influential books of Protestant theology in the twentieth century.[1]

"The Situation Ethics Debate"

"The Situation Ethics Debate" by Harvey Cox (Editor), Joseph Fletcher (Editor) 1968.

"Sex, Family, and Society in Theological Focus"

"Sex, Family, and Society in Theological Focus" the first of two volumes on “responsible sexuality for the contemporary Christian,” was edited and introduced by John Charles Wynn, Director of Studies, Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

This book and its anticipated companion are “designed for personal reading as well as for group study” by adults and youth. In addition to Dr. Wynn, the other writers were Harvey Cox (author of The Secular City); Pieter de Jong; James Gordon Emerson, Jr.; Roy Fairchild; William Genre; Dr. and Mrs. Dale B. Harris; William Alvin Pitcher; Cynthia Wedel; and Gibson Winter.[2]

DSOC Religious Commission

In 1977, John Cort attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee convention in Chicago. At the convention Cort and others organized a DSOC Religion and Socialism Committee (later Commission). Cort was elected coordinator and editor of the newsletter.

Among early leaders, co-editors and contributors to the newsletter were Peter Steinfels, Sister Mary Emil, Rosemary Ruether, Harvey Cox, Cornel West, Arthur Waskow, Joe Holland, James Luther Adams, Jim Gorman, Maxine Phillips and Jim Wallis. Monsignor George Higgins was also a contributor.[3]

Prominent DSOC member

According to Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee founder and chairman Michael Harrington, the influence of the group is disproportionate to its size because of the positions held by some DSOC members within the Democratic Party.

In 1980 prominent DSOC members included Rep, Ronald Dellums (D-CA); Hilda Mason, D.C. City Council, Harlan Baker, Maine state legislature; Jerry Nadler, New York state legislature, Perry Bullard, Michigan state legislature; Ruth Messinger, New York City Council; Harry Britt, San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Patrick Gorman, chairman of the board, Amalgamated Meatcutters; William Winpisinger, president, International Association of Machinists ; Irving Bluestone, vice president, United Auto Workers; Martin Gerber, vice-president, UAW, Sol Stetin, senior vice-president, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers , Joyce Miller, national president, Coalition of Labor Union Women ; Dolores Huerta, vice-president, United Farmworkers, Cleveland Robinson, president, District 65, UAW; Victor Gotbaum, head of District Council 37, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees , New York, Mildred Jeffrey; Victor Reuther; James Farmer; Nat Hentoff; Gloria Steinem; Rosemary Reuther; Harvey Cox and Irving Howe.[4]

Democratic Agenda

More than 1,200 people attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee initiated Democratic Agenda Conference held November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington 1 DC. The conference focused on "corporate power'; as the key barrier to "economic and political democracy," concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as "socialism.'

The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives" through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading to the July 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York.

Constituency meetings included DSOC Religion and Socialism Committee - Arthur Waskow; Harvey Cox, Rosemary Ruether and Dorothy Solle.[[5]

Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign

Circa early 1980s, Harvey Cox was an endorser of a US-Soviet Nuclear Weapons Freeze petition circulated by the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, National Clearinghouse, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Harvey Cox was a Boston, Massachusetts delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[6]

American Solidarity Movement

The American Solidarity Movement was announced in early 1984 by Democratic Socialists of America, as a vehicle to support American labor unions it considered under attack, or on strike and in need of support.

Members of the Initiating Committee for an American Solidarity Movement were: Michael Harrington (convenor), Stanley Aronowitz, Balfour Brickner, Harry Britt, Harvey Cox, Rep. Ron Dellums, Bogdan Denitch, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cynthia Epstein, Jules Feiffer, Rep. Barney Frank, Msgr. George Higgins, Irving Howe, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Frances Fox Piven, Jose Rivera, Ray Rogers, Gloria Steinem, Peter Steinfels, Ellen Willis.[7]

DSA member

In 1995 Harvey Cox, was a member of Democratic Socialists of America .[8]

Religious Socialism

Religious Socialism is the journal of the Religion and Socialism Commission of Democratic Socialists of America.

In the late 2000s it was edited by Andrew Hammer. Contributing editors were Maxine Phillips, Harvey Cox, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson[9].


  1. [ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/403561.The_Situation_Ethics_Debate]
  2. [1]
  3. Dreadful conversions: the making of a Catholic socialist, By John C. Cort, page 319
  4. Information Digest, September 19, 1980, page 331
  5. Information Digest, December 14, 1979, page 372
  6. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  7. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1984, page 6
  8. Dem. Left, March/April 1995, page 22
  9. http://www.religioussocialism.com/RS.2.swf