Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Alice Hageman

Sometime in the mid-1970s, early in my pastorate at Church of the Covenant in Boston's Back Bay, I preached a fourth of July sermon entitled, “I pledge allegiance …” In exploring the meaning of loyalty oaths—those affirmed by persons joining the church, those required by the federal government during the McCarthy era, those exacted by feudal lords over their subjects—I wanted to test the limits of our understanding of patriotism. In doing so, I invited the congregation to consider an issue with which I had struggled for many years: the source and focus of our primary loyalty. I knew that I defined myself as an American Christian rather than as a Christian American, that if pressed, my loyalties were as a citizen of the household of God more than of the United States of America. I also knew that even that description was inadequate; I have parted company with the majority in my denomination on several important issues, and am comforted by church doctrine which says that “God alone is Lord of the conscience.”

During France's war with Algeria in the late 1950s and early l960s, Albert Camus wrote, “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.” During the United States' war with Vietnam, Sister Mary Corita, IHM, transferred that phrase onto a red, white, and blue silk-screened poster, a copy of which hung in my living room for many years. In my young adulthood I learned that loving justice was not synonymous with loving my country. I continue to struggle to understand how, and whether, even after 9/11/ 01, it is possible for a United States Christian to love both country and justice.

I was born into a middle-class family in central New Jersey. My Dutch forebears helped settle the area in the mid-eighteenth century. My family was active in the Dutch Reformed Church for generations, until my parents moved to a community where the Presbyterian Church was the closest alternative.

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Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Journeys That Opened Up the World *
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 1 - Ruth Harris 15
  • Chapter 2 - Jeanne Audrey Powers 45
  • Chapter 3 - Rebecca Owen 66
  • Chapter 4 - Elmira Kendricks Nazombe 84
  • Chapter 5 - Jill Foreman 104
  • Chapter 6 - Charlotte Bunch 122
  • Chapter 7 - Tamela Hultman 140
  • Chapter 8 - M. Sheila Mccurdy 157
  • Chapter 9 - Alice Hageman 174
  • Chapter 10 - Jan Griesinger 191
  • Chapter 11 - Eleanor Scott Meyers 208
  • Chapter 12 - Nancy D. Richardson 226
  • Chapter 13 - The Repairer of the Breach (isaiah 58:12) 237
  • Chapter 14 - Renetia Martin 240
  • Chapter 15 - Frances E. Kendall 249
  • Chapter 16 - Margarita Mendoza De Sugiyama 262
  • Notes on Contributors 271
  • Index 275
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