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Professor Joan Hedrick Delivers Annual Wassong Lecture

From left to right: Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies; Lida Maxwell, assistant professor of political science; Joseph Wassong IV; Rebecca Skinner; Joan Hedrick, Charles A. Dana Professor of History; Joseph Wassong ’59; Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr.; John Wassong; and Tina Wassong.  Photo by Nick Lacy.

“HARTFORD, CT, April 26, 2012 – Author Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ellen White, prophet and co-founder of Adventism, played instrumental roles in the context of 19th century American Christianity, particularly during the volatile decade of the 1840s, when institutional churches were divided over the issue of slavery. That was one of the major themes of the annual Shirley G. Wassong Memorial Lecture in European and American Art, Culture and History, delivered April 23 by Joan D. Hedrick, Charles A. Dana professor of History and winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her book, Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. “The most important parallel between Ellen White and Harriet Beecher Stowe is that for both, visions provided both an oppositional plan and a way forward at a time of group and national confusion, respectively,” said Hedrick. “Both Stowe and White excoriated the complicity of organized religion in perpetuating slavery. Hedrick described that period in U.S. history as a time of great flux, when a number of women became outspoken seers, speakers and writers. Hedrick’s talk largely focused on the role of White, who is not as well known as Stowe, “in the early, radical period of Adventism” and on Stowe’s “religious experiences in decades leading up to the Civil War.” Stowe is best known for her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slave novel published in 1852 and which some believed helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century.”

Read entire article HERE.

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