Nancy Hardesty (1941-2011) and Biblical Feminism

Paul Harvey

Julie Ingersoll has posted a very warm tribute to Nancy Hardesty (1941-2011), Founding Mother of Biblical Feminist Movement, at Religion Dispatches. Thank you, Julie; and thank you, Nancy, for a life of scholarship and activism. I did not know Nancy personally except for a few brief exchanges, but I'll always remember Nancy's wry look during an encounter I had at a conference years ago with Dorothy Patterson, the famously flamboyant Southern Baptist conservative and author of the statement about family roles and gracious submission in the Baptist Faith and Message Statement, who spent a few minutes at the Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism conference in Chicago in 199? (can't remember the year now) berating my scholarly research and credentials to write about Southern Baptists (some of you regular blog readers were there, not to name any names Judith). Nancy got to spend a lot of time being berated by biblical anti-feminists, and she countered them both with her scholarship and with her everyday work. You may find a bibliography of her work here.


Anonymous said…
Hardesty's books were some of my favorites when I began graduate school. I'm sad to hear this news.
This is sad news and another big loss.

Paul, as the session chair, I did my best to avoid calling on her, but the time came when her relentlessly-raised hand was the only one left (and it was hard to ignore the gigantic hat). You handled yourself beautifully and it was certainly a memorable exchange.
Paul Harvey said…
Judith: Ha ha, I completely forgot you were session chair that day. Someone later did an oral history of a number of SB conservatives, including Mrs. Patterson, and she went on for a few pages (in the transcript of that interview) complaining about my lack of research, et al. Apparently she was quite exasperated with me. But, very glad I could have an experience to go down in religious historians geek lore.
I was going to ask if Mrs. Patterson had on a hat—though I knew the answer.
Joe Reiff said…
Nancy H. taught at Candler School of Theology for a year or two in the 70s, and I took a Methodist history course from her. She was a gentle spirit, and I'm sorry to hear of her passing. RIP...

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