By: Bessie Laythe Scovell
Source: Scovell, Bessie Laythe. "President's Address," Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the W.C.T.U. of the State of Minnesota. St. Paul, Minn.: W.J. Woodbury, 1900.
About the Author: Bessie Laythe Scovell grew up in Chat-field, Minnesota, and earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of Minnesota. She was a schoolteacher for three years and assistant editor of the Duluth Evening Journal. She joined the Minnesota Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1895 and served as its president from 1897 to 1909.
In the late nineteenth century, concern grew among American clergy and laity that alcohol use was getting out of control. Families were being neglected, violence toward women and children was becoming more common, and men could not function at their jobs. Churches responded to this social problem by crusading against alcohol locally and seeking legislation on a national level.
Women attempted to combat the problem of alcoholism by forming the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), also known as the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in 1874. The WCTU was an offshoot of a meeting of the Woman's Temperance...
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Religious Opposition to Imperialism
"A Prayer for the Use of Anti- Imperialists"; "Clergymen Address Voters"
By: Herbert Seely Bigelow
Source: "A Prayer for the Use of Anti-Imperialists." The Public 3 (Aug. 25, 1900). Available online at http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/ailtexts/hbs_prayer2.html; "Clergymen Address Voters." The Public 3 (November 3, 1900). Available online at http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/ailtexts/clergy00.html. Website home page: Zwick, Jim, ed. "Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898–1935." http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/ (accessed January 10, 2003).
About the Author: Herbert Seely Bigelow (1870–1951) was the activist pastor of the Vine Street Congregational Church, later the nondenominational People's Church, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served on the executive committee of the Cincinnati Anti-Imperialist League and was a vice president of the national American Anti-Imperialist League. His book, The Religion of Revolution (1916), contained sermons on social issues.
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Graves de Communi Re (On Christian Democracy)
By: Pope Leo XIII
Date: January 18, 1901
Source: Papal Encyclicals Online. "Graves de Communi Re." Available online at http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13grcom.htm (accessed January 10, 2003).
About the Author: Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) was born in Carpineto, Italy, with the birth name Vincenzo Giocchino Pecci. Ordained a priest in 1837, he was named a cardinal in 1853. He was elected pope in 1878 and served until his death in 1903. He was noted for opening the archives of the Vatican for historical investigations in 1883 and for his encyclicals addressing social and religious concerns of the time.
Pope Leo XIII's goal in Graves de Communi Re was for Roman Catholics to distinguish clearly between two movements—social democracy and Christian democracy—that some Catholics and other Christians thought were essentially the same. The pope believed that there was no common ground between them, for they were polar opposites in their philosophy and objectives; in his view, they differed from each other "as much as the sect of socialism differs from the profession of Christianity."
Social democracy was a...
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"Unity of the Human Race"
By: J. W. Sanders
Date: July 1902
Source: Sanders, J. W. "Unity of the Human Race." African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, July 1902, 427. Available online at http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/det.cfm?ID=2275; website home page: http://www.ohiohistory.org/index.html (accessed May 15, 2003).
About the Organization: The African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded by a group of African American Methodists in 1787 to protest racial segregation. The African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, one of the church's publications, contained information about the church itself, African American issues, and perspectives on race and racism. It advocated self-determination for people of color and highlighted the accomplishments of people of African descent.
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln (served 1861–1865) on January 1, 1863, declared freedom for slaves in the rebellious Confederate states. Later, the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified on December 6, 1865. Although the Civil War had ended, it left bitter relationships between...
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The Varieties of Religious Experience
By: William James
Source: James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. New York: Longmans, Green, 1902. Available online at http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/james/james15.htm (accessed April 15, 2003).
About the Author: William James (1842–1910) was born in New York City and in 1869 received his doctorate from Harvard, where he taught philosophy and psychology from 1872 to 1907. In 1890 he published Principles of Psychology, which also contained his views on philosophy. In addition, he was noted for his interest in the psychology of the religious experience.
At the turn of the twentieth century, there was an ongoing academic battle between theologians who affirmed their belief in God and scientists who rejected any belief in the supernatural as being superstitious, exploitative, or, at the very least, wishful thinking. William James saw a need to take an objective look at these arguments and then present his analysis of them. That is what he attempted to accomplish in The Varieties of Religious Experience, which began as a series of lectures.
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The Souls of Black Folk
By: W.E.B. Du Bois
Source: Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1903. Available online at http://www.bartleby.com/114/10.html; website home page: http://www.bartleby.com/ (accessed May 16, 2003).
About the Author: W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois (1868–1963) was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard University, completing a bachelor's degree in 1888, a master's three years later, and a doctorate in 1895. For the next fifteen years he taught economics and history at Atlanta University. In 1910, Du Bois and others organized the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
During slavery and postslavery times, African American churches became important institutions for organizing social life. During the eighteenth century, slaves were generally allowed into the white churches in a subordinate status, where they were exposed to white preachers. As the number of African American converts to christianity grew in the nineteenth century, the numbers of African American ministers also expanded.
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"Remarks of Dr. Washington Gladden"
By: Washington Gladden
Source: "Remarks of Dr. Washington Gladden." In Du Bois, W.E. Burghardt, ed. The Negro Church: Report of a Social Study Made Under the Direction of Atlanta University; Together with the Proceedings of the Eighth Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems. Atlanta, Ga.: The Atlanta University Press, 1903, 204–207. Available online at http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/negrochurch/dubois.html (accessed January 11, 2003).
About the Author: Solomon Washington Gladden (1836–1918) was born in Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, and in 1859 graduated from Williams College. In 1882 he became the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Columbus, Ohio, where he served for the rest of his life. He authored more than three dozen books and frequently expressed his support of the social gospel movement.
In 1903, Gladden addressed an audience of students, teachers, ministers, and others at an Atlanta University conference examining the nature and condition of black churches in America. A leading proponent of the social gospel movement and called by some its father, Gladden spoke about the application of social gospel principles...
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"How Can We as Women Advance the Standing of the Race?"
By: Annie H. Jones
Date: July 1904
Source: Jones, Annie H. "How Can We as Women Advance The Standing of the Race?" National Association Notes 7, no. 11, July 1904, 9–13. Available online at http://womhist.binghamton.edu/nacw/doc16.htm; website home page: http://womhist.binghamton.edu/index.html (accessed May 16, 2003).
About the Organization: The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC) was founded in 1896 in Washington, D.C., with the motto "Lifting As We Climb." The major objectives of the NACWC were the promotion of the family life of black women and the elevation of their social status. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, a founder of the organization, emphasized "the training of our children," "the moral education of the race," and "temperance and morality." Annie H. Jones contributed her views to the association.
Annie H. Jones observed that the church and the state were two great institutions that could improve humankind, but she also held that it was not reasonable to expect these institutions to do the job by themselves. A third agency was necessary: charitable efforts by...
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Lamentabili Sane (Condemning the Errors of the Modernists)
By: Pope Pius X
Date: July 3, 1907
About the Author: Pope Pius X (1835–1914) was born near Treviso, Italy, as Giuseppe Sarto. He was ordained a priest in 1858, became a bishop in 1884, and was installed as a cardinal in 1893. He was elected pope in 1903 and served in that position until his death. He was noted for his interest in the poor, reforming the liturgy, and reorganizing canon law. He was canonized a saint in 1954.
Modernism was a movement by some theologians that questioned the dogmatic theology of Christianity and the historical accuracy of the Bible. Arising in the late nineteenth century, this movement was an outgrowth of contemporary scientific theories and philosophical writings that challenged basic beliefs held by Christians for centuries. Modernists held, for example, that the Bible was not inspired by the will of God, that Jesus Christ was just a great human being and not divine, and that even the existence of God cannot...
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Reuben Quick Bear v. Leupp
Supreme Court decision
By: Melville Weston Fuller
Date: May 18, 1908
Source: Find Law for Legal Professionals U.S. Supreme Court. Reuben Quick Bear v. Leupp, 210 U.S. 50 (1908). Available online at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case... ; website home page: http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/ (accessed May 16, 2003).
About the Author: Melville Weston Fuller (1833–1910) was born in Augusta, Maine. After receiving his law degree from Harvard, he practiced law in Chicago, where he was active in Democratic Party politics. In 1888 President Grover Cleveland (served 1885–1889 and 1893–1897) appointed him Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served until his death.
In Reuben Quick Bear v. Leupp (1908), more than four dozen members of the Sioux tribe sued U.S. government officials who, as trustees for the tribe, were using money from a treaty trust fund to pay the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions to provide schools for the tribe. The plaintiffs included Reuben Quick Bear and other members of the Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud...
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Rudimental Divine Science
By: Mary Baker Eddy
Source: Eddy, Mary Baker. Rudimental Divine Science. Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1908. Available online at http://www.mbeinstitute.org/Prose_Works/Rudimental_Divine_S... ; website home page: http://www.mbeinstitute.org (accessed January 12, 2003).
About the Author: Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) was born in Bow, New Hampshire. Because of her poor health and
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Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology
By: Solomon Schechter
Source: Schechter, Solomon. Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology. New York: Macmillan, 1909. Reprint, Aspects of Rabbinic Theology. New York: Schocken Books, 1961.
About the Author: Solomon Schechter (1847–1915) was born in Focsani, Romania. Educated in Austria and Germany, he lectured in Jewish studies in 1890 at Cambridge University in England. In 1901, he joined the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City, where he was regarded as a major scholar of Conservative Judaism.
Solomon Schechter, one of the twentieth century's greatest Jewish scholars, once noted that "Conservative Judaism united what is desirable in modern life with the precious heritage of our faith … that has come down to us from ancient times." His goal in writing Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology was to select certain areas of that "precious heritage of our faith" for examination. As both a theologian and a historian, he persistently provided ways of understanding and communicating the religious consciousness of the Jewish people. He believed in the importance of the study of the Bible and tradition. Through the examination of tradition, he believed, one can see how the...
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"Attempts at Religious Legislation from 1888–1945"
By: United States Congress
Source: "Attempts at Religious Legislation from 1888–1945." American State Papers on Freedom in Religion, 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: The Religious Liberty Association, 1949. Available online at http://members.tripod.com/~candst/1888-49.htm (accessed April 15, 2003).
About the Author: The U.S. Congress, the legislative branch of the American government, is divided into the House of Representatives and the Senate. Legislation may be introduced in either body. Legislation passed by one body is then sent to the other. If both pass the legislation, it is submitted to the president for action.
Sunday was, and still is for most Christians, the traditionally observed day of rest and religious observance. Mandatory Sunday closings are often referred to as "blue laws," a term applied to any laws devised by lawmakers to enforce their definition of morality. The label had a historical meaning as well: "Blue laws," the first printed laws of New Haven Colony during the colonial days, were printed on blue paper or bound in blue. In tracing the meaning of "blue laws," some historians also include the colonial laws of...
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