The Beloved Community
M. Carey Thomas had struggled for years to make Bryn Mawr a college known for its academic excellence, attractive to women students who were interested and capable of demonstrating that women could perform as well as, if not better in purely intellectual disciplines, than men. Though perhaps less of a crusading feminist, Marion Park had maintained the same tradition of outstanding scholarship. She was eager that as many of her young women as possible should benefit from the influence of Henry Cadbury's teaching, and she personally took upon herself the job of recruiting students for his classes. During the years 1926-27 forty-four undergraduates were enrolled in his department. The number subsequently grew.
Although he was now teaching undergraduates rather than graduates, Henry Cadbury continued to expect academic excellence and to achieve his results by a series of prodding but openended questions as well as his famous little stories and witty asides. Both his method and his manner made him a popular teacher. Some of his students were of Quaker background, but like their sisters from other Protestant denominations they were eager to rethink the religious beliefs of their childhood in light of the emphasis on science and behaviorism of the Roaring Twenties. Henry Cadbury's own questioning and skeptical approach helped them to see that they need not abandon a search to find value in religion but could look for those elements in their religious heritage that had some relevance to their lives. One Quaker woman who studied with him at this period remembers the relief and joy she felt in learning about the historic and human Jesus with Henry Cadbury as her guide and mentor.1 The thirst of these students for religious belief