Newberry Seminar in Religious History co-sponsored by the University of Chicago History Department and Divinity School and the History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Re-Thinking Jane Addams's Secular Humanism: Religion at Hull-House
Rima Lunin Schultz, editor, "Women Building Chicago"
December 5, 2002, 4:00-6:00 pm
Rethinking Jane Addams's private beliefs and public religious expressions has outcomes for the narratives of progressivism, American Protestantism, and the rise of the gendered welfare state. This paper examines the material culture of Hull-House as well as its programs and associations in an effort to reconstruct the religious environment created by Addams and co-founder Ellen Gates Starr during the early years of the settlement. Using correspondence, published writings, and images, the paper argues that Addams's lack of conviction or acceptance of traditional Trinitarian Christianity should not be interpreted as an indication that she abandoned religion, either personally, or as an important aspect of human experience. Instead, Addams sought to make religious experience possible for herself and the first generation of Americans who confronted modernity and the contradictions of progress and blight in the new industrial and urban nation that had emerged by the 1880s. She also attempted to redefine religious and cultural space for the American democracy in a neighborhood where ethnic and religious diversity appeared to progressives like herself, a great barrier to understanding and harmony.
E-mail or call phone to receive a copy of the paper. We prefer to send papers as e-mail attachments. Please include your e-mail address with all correspondence.
The seminar format assumes that all participants have read the essay in advance, and that those requesting the paper will attend the seminar.
Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
We encourage faculty members to call the seminar to the attention of graduate students.
Scholl Center for Family and Community History
60 W. Watlon St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)