Christena Cleveland, associate professor of the practice of reconciliation, shares how we can use our influence to create a more equitable society.
Christena Cleveland is an associate professor of the practice of reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. She joined the Divinity School faculty in 2015.
A social psychologist and reconciliation scholar-practitioner, she writes and lectures widely on the theology and practice of reconciliation. Cleveland’s scholarly work includes integrating social psychological perspectives on intergroup and intercultural processes with current reconciliation dilemmas within the Christian church and the broader society. In her book, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, she examines and offers research-based strategies to overcome the nonconscious cognitive, emotional, and identity processes that pull Christians into homogeneous groups, fuel inaccurate perceptions of culturally different others, contribute to an “us vs. them” mentality, stimulate intergroup prejudice and hostility, and ultimately inhibit reconciliation.
A fifth-generation minister, Cleveland comes from a long tradition of leadership in the Church of God in Christ denomination, ranging from bishops to pastors to laypeople. She currently ministers in various ecumenical settings. Cleveland received her A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara.