"Between Chautauqua and Washington Square :
 religious liberalism and political radicalism in the thought of
Annis Ford Eastman and Max Eastman"
 Geoffrey N. Pollick
        Publication year: 2015

"This dissertation explores the life and thought of Annis Ford Eastman, one of the first women ordained in U.S. Congregationalism, in relation to the early intellectual development of her son, Max Eastman, well-known publisher of The Masses and participant in New York City's early twentieth-century radical subculture. Contributing the first systematic treatment of Annis Eastman's sermons, lectures, and personal papers, this dissertation presents her pursuit of ordination, ministerial career, and participation in the women's movement as a distinct trajectory within religious liberalism, and as a vital groundwork in relation to which Max Eastman's political and cultural radicalism emerged. Building from a combination of romantic idealism and evolutionary science acquired through study at Oberlin College in the 1870s, Annis Eastman developed a form of subjectivity that supported her pursuit of ordination in transgression of gendered conceptions of religious leadership. Articulated through the term "self-realization" during the 1890s and 1900s, Annis Eastman advanced a critique of gender, particularly in relation to religion, that envisioned its abolition as a primary category of social distinction. When interpreted from the vantage of Annis Eastman's work, Max Eastman's early critiques of philosophy, psychology, art, and politics reveal the substantial influence of his mother's thought. This dissertation thus identifies points of continuity between religious liberalism and political radicalism, which previous scholarship has framed as opposed to social orientations"1.

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Rev. Annis Ford Eastman's Park Church Auditorium in Elmira NY

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