Hester Prynne, Mary Baker Eddy, and Women of Revelation in American History
March 6, 2014
Drawing on findings from The Mary Baker Eddy Library archives, Library Fellow and Harvard Divinity School Professor David Holland, Ph.D. leads a discussion on gender and revelation in American religious history.
"The angel and apostle of the coming revelation must be a woman, indeed…," reflects Hester Prynne, protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In Mary Baker Eddy’s personal copy of that book, she makes special note of the passage that includes this line. One can only speculate as to why, but the subject of revelation was of profound importance to nineteenth-century America, spurring debate and mighty wrestling of conscience. And for Eddy, the subject would define her life and legacy.
Please join us for an exploration of how women of revelation shaped—and were shaped by—a time of dynamic spiritual questioning and revolution.
As Associate Professor of North American Religious History, David Holland teaches a variety of courses at the Harvard Divinity School. Among them are "American Revelations" and "Gender and Religious Leadership in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century America."
Holland’s fellowship at The Mary Baker Eddy Library is in support of his work on a comparative biography of Mary Baker Eddy and Ellen Gould White (a founder of Seventh-Day Adventism). A previous book, Sacred Borders: Continuing Revelation and Canonical Restraint, was published in 2011 (Oxford University Press).