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Professor Christopher Evans’s Reflections on His John Rylands Research Institute-MRWC Joint Visiting Fellowship
This blog post was initially published on the Manchester Wesley Research Committee Blog site. Please click here to view the original post.
October 14, 2017: My research centered on transatlantic Methodism in the late nineteenth century, focusing on the rise of the Deaconess Movement. I was especially interested in studying the role of British Methodist “sisterhoods” formed in the 1880s, culminating with the establishment of the Wesley Deaconess Institute in the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1890. During the six weeks of my fellowship, I examined how these women contributed to what I consider to be a vital, yet overlooked, component for understanding the development of Methodism’s social witness in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The John Rylands Library has an extensive collection of materials related to Wesleyan Deaconesses, including personal papers, correspondences, and several diaries/journals kept by different women. Additionally, the examination of important periodicals, such as the Methodist Times and Flying Leaves (the early twentieth-century journal of the Wesleyan Methodist Deaconess Movement), provided an invaluable look into the lives of these women and their work.
Part of what I discovered in my research was the extent that these late nineteenth century Methodist women... More
The School of Theology is pleased to announce the publication of its annual scholarly journal, focus magazine. Featuring articles and sermons written by STH students, faculty, and alumni, this year's magazine is titled "Living in the Storm", and centers around the themes of searching for healing in a wounded and divided nation.
Click the magazine below to view this year's issue.
Concern for Covenant and Courage: Sharing from my heart
Dear Beloved Community,
How can a church body give public witness again and again to the “illegality” of LGBTQ persons? People can disagree in their perspectives on homosexuality and gender identity without focusing the church’s energies on upholding one view of biblical interpretation and holiness, and doing so in ways that violate human lives and silently feed violence in the larger society. That is what a covenantal community is: a community held by God, seeking to love one another in all of our differences and seeking to love the world together.
No one is beloved if all are not beloved. Love cannot be stingy! The witness of the Christian Church, and the witness of any religious tradition, cannot be less than full love for every person and every being in God’s creation. Why then can the United Methodist Church (my beloved church!) persist in naming one group of people as violators of church law, thus shaping social attitudes that can quickly turn against people in the LGBTQ community, and against immigrants, persons of color, and any other community who have been subject to generations of discrimination?
The United Methodist Judicial Council ruling of April 28, More
Associate Professor Jennifer Knust has issued a very thoughtful letter as part of a public witness of religious leaders. This is part of a movement entitled: “American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters.” Professor Knust's letter was published on March 15, 2017, and can be accessed at http://www.valuesandvoices.com/letter55/.
Among the religious leaders who have published letters already is Bill Leonard, a BU STH alumnus.
Assistant Professor of Theology David Decosimo penned a timely op-ed that was published in the Washington Post's "PostEverything" perspective section. The article, titled "Trump could learn a thing or two about freedom and democracy from Islam", is gaining national attention. Be sure to read Professor Decosimo's response to President Trump's revised immigration executive order, and how the tenets of Islam can be a guide to the current presidential administration and their global view.
Professor of the history of Christianity, Christopher Evans, has published a commentary on The Conversation site titled "Why you should know about the New Thought movement". In this article, Professor Evans discusses what New Thought is all about, its links to evangelism and personal prosperity, and its potential insight into President Trump's Christianity. Click here to read the full article.
This text is taken from BU Today's full article, published on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. By Sara Rimer and Ian Evans.
Women’s March on Washington, Boston, around the World
BU women—and men—join in DC, Hub events
In Boston, an estimated 175,000 on the Common
At the Boston Women’s March for America, activist and ordained minister Mariama White-Hammond (STH’17) was one of the key speakers. “We’re going to have a lot of work to do after this,” White-Hammond said after the march. “It’s not about showing up at one big march, it’s about the work we need to do in our communities. We had a transformative leader—Barack Obama—and we didn’t show up. I definitely did stuff, but I didn’t wake up and say, ‘For the next eight years we have a president who actually gives a crap about people, and I should be organizing like I never have before.’ We didn’t give him the cover he needed. We didn’t ask, how can we together transform America—we expected him to do it… We should have done more.”
Saturday, said White-Hammond, the daughter of the Rev. Gloria White- Hammond, M.D. (CAS’72, Hon.’09) and the Rev. Ray Hammond, M.D. (Hon’99), was a new beginning.
On Wednesday, October 26, the Mary Baker Eddy Library held its second program in its "Spiritual Intersections in Boston History" series. This series explored issues of gender and religion in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the rise of the muscular Christian movement. It examined varying religious and cultural perspectives on womanhood and manhood and the connection of spirit, mind, and body in this time period. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Christopher Evans, Professor of History of Christianity and Methodist Studies at the School of Theology.
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Bendroth—Executive Director, The Congregational Library and Archives; author, The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past (UNC Press, 2015)
Dr. Clifford Putney—Associate Professor, History, Bentley University; author, Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880-1920 (Harvard University Press, 2001)
Jonathon Eder—Programs Manager, The Mary Baker Eddy Library
The full video of the event is available at: http://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/project/spiritual-intersections-boston-history-program-2/
If you have further questions, please contact Jonathon Eder at email@example.com or 617-450-7131.
Professor of the history of Christianity, Christopher Evans, has published a commentary on the PBS site Religion & Ethics titled "Hillary Clinton's Benediction". In this timely post, Professor Evans discusses Clinton's campaign, her religious foundation, and a message of hope. Click here to read the full commentary.
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article entitled, “Why College Activism is Soaring,” suggesting the reasons behind current protests by large numbers of college students. The article also highlights why college students are taking new measures for activism, with insights from Walter E. Fluker, Martin Luther King Jr. professor of ethical leadership at the School of Theology. Focusing on movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter, the article points to the potential for change on college campuses:
“…more students are being energized by the idea that they can take direct action to influence their own campuses and the broader society. The higher numbers of likely protesters reflect frustration with society and college administrators, more opportunities for activism, and more positive attention given to [other protests].”
Professor Fluker adds that students are innovating in how they shape protests and that they are referencing previous movements as well as fostering new tactics that reflect their own challenges. Interest in the Occupy movement “is one of the significant variables that may very well be driving some of the student activism” in reference to presidential campaigns, says Professor Fluker. The article identifies various aspects of college student activism and illustrates its influence on campuses and across... More