“The greatest religious problem today is how to be both a mystic and a militant; in other words how to combine the search for an expansion of inner awareness with effective social action, and how to feel one's true identity in both” Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Georgia Harkness

Georgia Harkness (1891 - 1974) was one of the first and one of the most prominent female theologians in the United States, as well as the first to serve as a full professor at a theological seminary (Garrett Bible Institute in 1939). She was a fourth-generation Methodist, with her great-grandfather being ousted from the Quakers for marrying a "worldly" woman who refused to stop wearing a red coat after they married.
Dr. Harkness graduated from Cornell University in 1912 with a BA in philosophy and taught high school for several years becoming one of the first students at the newly-formed Boston University School of Religious Education and Social Service where she earned an MA and PhD in Philosophy of Religion. (She had been denied admission to BU's Divinity School because of her gender).
She was active in early ecumenical movements, including an international lecture tour sponsored by the British YWCA where her experiences in post-World War I Germany strengthened her pacifist beliefs. After the second World War she participated in the World Council of Churches, and at one meeting of this organization she heatedly debated Karl Barth on the role of women in ordained ministry. (She herself had been ordained a local deacon in 1926 and a local elder in 1938, and was a leader in the fight for full clergy rights for women in the Methodist church.)

No comments:

Post a Comment