Mrs. Stanton’s Bible
Kern, Kathi. Mrs. Stanton’s Bible. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.
Seeing no social change favoring women’s rights, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton switched her energies to addressing the underlying issue of women’s subordination rooted in the Bible. Near the end of her 54 years of public activism, Stanton, with a small committee of associates, would write the Women’s Bible, a commentary offering alternative interpretations to specific Bible passages that oppressed women. Like Mary Baker Eddy’s opus, Science and Health, Stanton’s Women’s Bible was intended as a vehicle for emancipation. But because the Women’s Bible would fundamentally challenge the Victorian notion of woman’s natural piety (3), which the suffragists had used to their advantage to gain moral authority and social power, the Women’s Bible would face vigorous and sustained opposition not only from clergy, but ironically from the suffragists. Kern contextualizes the Women’s Bible within the same 19th century cultural, religious, racial, social and political battles that Eddy faced. In fact, Kern includes Eddy among the many women bearing (indirect) influence on Stanton’s story. For example, Eddy recast the role of Eve in Genesis; and two women, Ursula Gestefeld and Emma Curtis Hopkins, committee members for the Women’s Bible, were active Christian Scientists who later become leaders in the New Thought movement (142, 146).
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0801482885
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0801431913