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Heroic Souls: Puritan Women as the First American Individuals

  • Date: Sunday, June 6, 2021
  • Time: 12:30pm2:00pm EDT
  • Location: Zoom (Information in Description)

Historian Lori Rogers-Stokes has studied the precious few records that remain from the time of Thomas Shepard, the first minister of the Puritan congregation that evolved, over nearly 400 years, to today’s First Church in Cambridge. The most exciting find in the records from Shepard’s ministry (1636-1649) are the voices of women who came to tell him their stories of spiritual seeking. Young wives and mothers, elderly widows, serving women, daughters of powerful men — all told stories that feature their independent labor in reading, praying, listening, asking questions, and making meaning in a world narrowed down to just the seeker and her God.

Dr. Rogers-Stokes’s interpretation is at odds with previous scholarship that characterized these women as anxious or confused. Dr. Rogers-Stokes will show how, by going back to the original manuscripts, she discovered what other scholars had overlooked.

In addition to being a scholar, Lori Rogers-Stokes is a talented communicator to non-scholars. See The Puritans — 5 Myths that appeared on the website of the Partnership of Historic Bostons.

Dr. Rogers-Stokes is donating to the First Church Archives a copy of her new book, Records of Trial from Thomas Shepard’s Church in Cambridge, 1638-1649 — Heroic Souls. Her publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, is also offering the book at a discount to those attending her lecture on June 6.

Join Zoom Meeting

Zoom Information: Meeting ID: 870 8280 8388, Passcode: AfterCh

Zoom Dial-In: 1 929 205 6099, Meeting ID: 870 8280 8388, Passcode: 1717325


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