Participation Type

Paper

Presentation #1 Abstract

Interest in Pauli Murray appears to be on the rise with the recent publication of Patricia Bell-Scott’s study of Murray’s friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt and with Rosalind Rosenberg’s 2017 biography of the first African American woman ordained an Episcopal priest. This is not surprising for scholars who have long insisted that Murray’s life and work represent significant intersections of the defining movements of the twentieth century, especially the civil rights and women’s rights movements. The typewriter, the law, and the sermon were all instruments that Murray utilized to promote her vision of inclusivity, and this paper will argue that Murray’s sermons thematically revealed her mission to build bridges both inside and outside her faith community. She did this by working to cultivate individual consciences alongside a collective, national conscience in her sermons and speeches. The individual and national consciences were not incompatible for Murray, and her sermons often celebrated the individual while urging Americans to live up to the country’s democratic and egalitarian promise.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Angela M. Lahr is Associate Professor of History at Westminster College in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Millennial Dreams and Apocalyptic Nightmares: The Cold War Origins of Political Evangelicalism (2007).

Start Date

10-21-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

10-21-2017 4:00 PM

Share

COinS
 
Oct 21st, 2:00 PM Oct 21st, 4:00 PM

Establishing a Conscience of Connection: The Individual Conscience and the National Soul in the Sermons of Pauli Murray

Interest in Pauli Murray appears to be on the rise with the recent publication of Patricia Bell-Scott’s study of Murray’s friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt and with Rosalind Rosenberg’s 2017 biography of the first African American woman ordained an Episcopal priest. This is not surprising for scholars who have long insisted that Murray’s life and work represent significant intersections of the defining movements of the twentieth century, especially the civil rights and women’s rights movements. The typewriter, the law, and the sermon were all instruments that Murray utilized to promote her vision of inclusivity, and this paper will argue that Murray’s sermons thematically revealed her mission to build bridges both inside and outside her faith community. She did this by working to cultivate individual consciences alongside a collective, national conscience in her sermons and speeches. The individual and national consciences were not incompatible for Murray, and her sermons often celebrated the individual while urging Americans to live up to the country’s democratic and egalitarian promise.