Monday, October 10, 2016

For All the Saints: Vida Dutton Scudder

Only three weeks to go before All Saints Day, when I'll conclude these informal posts about notable Christian figures in history. One of the pleasures of writing these, has been learning about interesting people who served the church. Today, for instance, Vida Dutton Scudder (1861-1954) is honored on the Episcopal calendar, and I was unfamiliar with her work. She was an American church leader, born in India where her father served as a missionary. She was a notable writer of several books, educator, and activist in the social gospel movement. A graduate of Smith College and Oxford, she taught English literature at Wellesley College; later, she was also the first dean of Wellesley's Summer School of Christian Ethics. She became active in groups devoted to social reform and became a founder of Denison House in Boston, and also helped organize the Women's Trade Union League. She was also active in a variety of socialist causes and pro-union groups, and in the 1920s she became a pacifist leader. Her life partner, Florence Converse, was a writer for Atlantic Monthly. Here is a website, "Queering the Church," that provides more information about Scudder:

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