Ray Waddle is the author of a comprehensive new history of Yale Divinity School, “This Grand Errand”: A Bicentennial History of Yale Divinity School, available now from Yale University Press.

In the book, the School’s momentous story—its high-spirited achievements and impact, the periods of uncertainty and turbulence—is unpacked across centuries of US history, religious life, theological debate, social protest, and the calling of thousands of YDS graduates to serve church and world.

The Rev. Talitha Arnold ’80 M.Div. says: “The book is truly a work of art and a fine history of that beloved community.” 

See a recent YaleNews interview with him about themes of YDS identity and the adventure of writing a comprehensive history of the School.

Ray is also the author of Undistorted God: Reclaiming Faith Despite the Cultural Noise (Abingdon, 2014).

David Dark says: “For Ray Waddle, religion is the living compendium of all the ways we try to defy chaos and deploy what we have in the way of poetry and conscience, whether we do it badly or beautifully. In Undistorted God, he calls us to stay in touch, our only hope as it turns out, and to consider again the rich, communal resources we have for accessing sanity and wisdom. With an enlivening wit and an intensely clear eye, he helps us to see our faith communities as gatherings of “wised-up counterculturalism” and worship as “regularly scheduled provocation.” In an age of everything all of the time, God knows we desperately need both.”

Ray’s previous books are:

• Against the Grain: Unconventional Wisdom From Ecclesiastes (Upper Room, 2005)

Garlinda Burton says: “As always, Ray Waddle’s take on the scriptures is fresh, intelligent, and provocative—and highly accessible to the thinking lay reader. In reflecting on Ecclesiastes, he reminds us that despair, rage, hedonism, and doubt are all part of a believer’s journey and that God has always fully understood the human condition yet loves us anyhow. In a time when many of us so-called religious leaders would draw the circle to shut people out, this is indeed good news.”

• A Turbulent Peace: The Psalms for Our Time (Upper Room, 2003)

James Lawson says: “I have always known the Psalms as a mighty tool for the practice of the presence of God. Ray Waddle’s A Turbulent Peace is an excellent work, exploiting the journalist’s imagination to reveal the still larger expanses of God’s unconditional love. Waddle dares to examine the ‘rough places’ of God in our human journey and encourages us to struggle with a sense of eternity here and now. Miracle! Every human arena is haunted by the presence of God.”