Julia P · Memoir · Non-Fiction · Religion

Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School | by Andrea Raynor


Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School by Andrea Raynor
(Howard Books, 2014, 320 pages)

I was drawn to this book since I also attended Harvard Divinity School – I couldn’t not pick it up. Raynor attended the school in the 80s but overall the experiences she recounted were true to my own time there. Raynor basically ended up attending Harvard Divinity School (HDS) on a whim, she became a religion major after her junior year in college and decided to pursue her masters degree. After applying to both HDS and the University of Chicago she was drawn to the atmosphere at Harvard. Her plan was to get her Masters of Theological Studies, a 2 year degree, but after a number of experiences that really spoke to her she made the decision to obtain her Masters of Divinity (MDIV), a three year program.

Raynor went into her studies believing that the last thing she wanted to do was enter the ministry but much to her surprise she felt called to take that path. While that isn’t the path that I took I loved hearing about her experiences at HDS – there were a surprising amount of similarities between our experiences and it had me wishing I could go back and do the program all over again. The primary focus of the book is on the author’s spiritual journey and I wish a little more time had been spent on the opportunities and exposure HDS offers to its students but I still enjoyed the read.

I think Incognito would appeal to those who appreciate spiritual/religious memoirs (that aren’t preachy, because this one isn’t that at all) and those who have pursued advanced degrees in religious studies. I really enjoyed having the chance to “relive” my time in Cambridge 🙂


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