Academic Programs 
      

Women in 19th and 20th Century America: Religion and Reform   (HI-675)
Spring 2008

This course will provide students with an overview of 19th and 20th century American religious history with a particular emphasis on women’s roles in reform movements such as abolition, temperance, and suffrage. We will also address the various ways women’s piety and spirituality was made manifest including their involvement in prison reform, women’s and children’s heath issues, Sunday School reform and the rise of institutions of social service. (Spring 2008)

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
Mary Coleman

Mary Coleman


Contact Information:
Phone: (860) 509-9500
Email: mecolema@comcast.net

 

Course Syllabus



Course Syllabus

Required Book:

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly. From Preachers to Suffragists: Woman’s Rights and Religious Conviction in the Lives of Three Nineteenth-Century American Clergywomen, Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Recommended Books:

Braude, Anne. Sisters and Saints: Women and American Religion. New York; Oxford University Press, 2008. (Published in 2000 hardcover as Women and American Religionexcellent but necessarily brief –only 123 pages - overview of the subject with good chronology and references.

Butler, Jon, Grant Wacker, and Randall Balmer. Religion in American Life: A Short History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003 (General introduction to religion in US. Chapters 9 – 11, 17 & 20 are of particular interest).

Pope-Levison, Priscilla. Turn the Pulpit Loose: Two Centuries of American Women Evangelists, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004 (Biographies of eighteen women preachers and reformers)

Recommended Websites:

www.wctu.org (see history tab)

www.uic/jaddams/hull

Additional Texts on Reserve:

Abzug, Robert. Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination, New York; Oxford University Press, 1994.

Chappell, David L. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow

Haddad, Yvonne Yarzbeck and Ellison Banks Findley eds. Women, Religion and Social Change

James, Janet Wilson, ed Women in American Religion

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. In our own voices : four centuries of American women's religious writing

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Women & Religion in America vols. 1,2,3

Lynd Staughton. Nonviolence in America

Wacker, Grant. Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture

Weisenfeld, Judith, Newman, Richard, This far by faith : readings in African-American women's religious biography

Reference works with topics of specific interest:

James, Edward T., editor Notable American women, 1607-1950 : a biographical dictionary

Oboler, Suzanne and Deena J. González, eds in chief. Oxford encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States

Smith, Jessie Carney, editor Notable Black American women

Ware, Susan, editor Notable American women : a biographical dictionary completing the twentieth century

 


1. Weekly readings, class participation, regular attendance. Classroom exchange is as important as the reading. (Each absence = reduction of one letter attendance grade; consistent tardiness also reduces the grade. See instructor for makeup in case of an emergency). [1/5 of grade]

2. *One class report, chosen from the topics asterisked in the syllabus, presented orally to the class, and submitted in written form (5 type-written pages maximum) to the instructor: The grade will be based primarily on the written version (clarity, organization, thoughtfulness, and range of issues and applications considered) [1/5 of grade]

3. *One book review (see bibliography), presented orally to the class, and submitted in written form (5 typewritten pages maximum) to the instructor. The reviewer is asked (a) to give a clear overview of the key points in the book and (b) to identify up to ten ideas he/she has found most helpful or informative. The reviewer is asked to prepare some "visuals" (hand-outs, chalkboard outlines, or overhead projector transparencies, etc.) to enhance communication with the group, and to present at least one issue for group discussion (maximum 5 pages). [1/5 of grade]

4. *A Final Project, due May 14. Notify instructor of your choice of topic by March 12, indicating some tentative bibliography and the question you plan to explore. The student has the choice of writing either on a standard research topic, or preparing an essay on the students own spirituality and the impetus it provides for involvement in reform as a way of relating the substance of the course to the experience and interests of the student. Further guidelines for this latter option will be provided [2/5 of grade].

*All academic papers are to conform to conventional technical, grammatical and stylistic standards referred to in the Hartford Seminary General Guidelines for a Research Paper. The Hartford Seminary Grading Guidelines will be the standard of evaluation for work in the course

Course Objectives

1. To provide an opportunity for reflecting critically on the diverse historical, social, economic, artistic, theological, economic, religious, ecclesiastical, and psycho-spiritual factors at work in the emergence of the myriad reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries --- toward the end of an enriched understanding of the reform opportunities related to issues of religion and faith today.

2. To be able to identify specifically the contributions of women of various faith traditions in reform movements.

3. To be able to construct a brief chronology of reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries in the USA…. Noting the main events, movements, and persons that mark that history.

4. To become familiar with the key figures whose thought and writing fueled the ideas and energy for these reforms.

5. To appreciate the role of theology as a way of wrestling with the recurrent issues of society.


Syllabus

January 30 (Session 1) Prospectus

Overview of 18th century reform movements as lead in to 19th century reforms.

February. 6 (Session 2) Introduction to 19th century reform concerns

Braude, Anne. Sisters and Saints: Women and American Religion. Pgs. 1-94

Butler, Jon. Religion in American Life: A Short History Pgs. 182-226

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly. From Preachers to Suffragists: Woman’s Rights and Religious Conviction in the Lives of Three Nineteenth-Century American Clergywomen pgs. ix -68

February 13 (Session 3) Abolitionists – *

Haddad, Yvonne Yarzbeck and Ellison Banks Findley eds. Women, Religion and Social Change pgs. 433-455

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly. From Preachers to Suffragists: Woman’s Rights and Religious Conviction in the Lives of Three Nineteenth-Century American Clergywomen pgs. 69 –169

February 20 (Session 4) Suffragists - *

Haddad, Yvonne Yarzbeck and Ellison Banks Findley eds. Women, Religion and Social Change pgs. 419-431

Lynd Staughton. Nonviolence in America pgs. 82 -89

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly. From Preachers to Suffragists: Woman’s Rights and Religious Conviction in the Lives of Three Nineteenth-Century American Clergywomen pgs. 171 -241.

February 27 (Session 5) Sunday school reformers *

Pope-Levison, Priscilla. Turn the Pulpit Loose: Two Centuries of American Women Evangelists pgs. 1-23, 73 –95

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America pgs. 889 - 906

March 5 (Session 6) Education reformers *

Smith, Jessie Carney, editor Notable Black American women pgs. 376 – 379

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America pgs. 912 – 939

March 12 (Session 7) Prison & health reformers *

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America pgs. 1021 – 1037

March 19 NO Class - Reading week

March 26 (Session 8) Temperance reform *

Smith, Jessie Carney, editor Notable Black American women pgs. 391 – 393

Weisenfeld, Judith, Newman, Richard, This far by faith : readings in African-American women's religious biography pgs. 1-18, 177- 184

April 2 (Session 9) Labor rights *

Lynd, Staughton. Nonviolence in America pgs 315 -316

April 9 (Session 10) Immigrant rights *

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America pgs. 1059 – 1075

April 16 (Session 11) Introduction to 20th century reform concerns

April 23 (Session 12) Civil rights *

Chappell, David L. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America Vol 3. pgs.1081 – 1092

Smith, Jessie Carney, editor Notable Black American women pgs. 383 – 386

April 30 (session 13) Peace activism & Reform of religion *

Haddad, Yvonne Yarzbeck and Ellison Banks Findley eds. Women, Religion and Social Change pgs. 477-494

Keller, Rosemary Skinner and Rosemary Radford Ruether eds. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America Vol 3. pgs.1050 – 1058

Lynd, Staughton. Nonviolence in America pgs. 91 –99, 192 –201, 405 –426, 473 – 476, 515 –520

May 14 FINAL PAPERS DUE

* For each of these weeks, students will be asked to select – based on the student’s particular interest- from a list of reformers supplied by the instructor for a brief report on the reformers specific contributions to the particular area of reform. The information in the biographical dictionaries listed above will be the basis of this research.


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