Georgia Elma Harkness
April 21, 1891
Harkness, New York, US
|Died||August 21, 1974 (aged 83)|
|Thesis||The Philosophy of Thomas Hill Green, with Special Reference to the Relations Between Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion (1923)|
|Doctoral advisor||Edgar S. Brightman|
|Other academic advisors|
|School or tradition|
Georgia Elma Harkness (1891–1974) was an American Methodist theologian and philosopher. Harkness has been described as one of the first significant American female theologians and was important in the movement to legalize the ordination of women in American Methodism.
Harkness was born on April 21, 1891, in Harkness, New York, a town named after her grandfather, to J. Warren and Lillie (née Merrill) Harkness. In 1912, she completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University, which had begun admitting women in 1872. At Cornell, she came under the influence of James Edwin Creighton. She spent several years as a high school teacher before enrolling at Boston University, from which she would receive a Master of Religious Education degree and a Master of Arts degree in philosophy in 1920. She completed her doctoral studies in philosophy at Boston University in 1923 with the submission of a dissertation titled The Philosophy of Thomas Hill Green, with Special Reference to the Relations Between Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, which was written under the supervision of the Boston personalist philosopher Edgar S. Brightman.
Harkness served on the faculty of Elmira College from 1923 to 1937 and of Mount Holyoke College from 1937 to 1939. Professor of applied theology at Garrett Biblical Institute (1939–1950) and the Pacific School of Religion (1950–1961), she was the first woman to obtain full professorship in an American theological seminary, and became a leading figure in the modern ecumenical movement. She became the first female member of the American Theological Society.
Harkness had an affinity for ministry through poetry and the arts. Her theological interests centered on the influence of the ecumenical church, eschatology, applied theological thought, and a desire for all persons to understand the Christian faith. She made clear a distaste for the doctrine of original sin, saying that "the sooner it disappears, the better for theology and human sympathy."
- The Church and the Immigrant. 1921.
- Religious Living. New York: Association Press. 1937. OCLC 1055005374.
- The Dark Night of the Soul. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press. 1945.
- Understanding Christian Faith. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press. 1947.
- The Modern Rival of Christian Faith: An Analysis of Secularism. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press. 1952.
- Sources of Western Morality: From Primitive Society Through the Beginning of Christianity. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1954.
- Toward Understanding the Bible. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1954 . Archived from the original on 2005-01-30.
- Christian Ethics. Abingdon Press. 1957. Archived from the original on 2005-02-18.
- The Gospel and Our World. New York: Abingdon Press. 1959. Archived from the original on 2005-02-17.
- The Providence of God. 1960.
- Beliefs That Count. Nashville, Tennessee: Graded Press. 1961. Archived from the original on 2005-02-17.
- Prayer and the Common Life. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press. 1968 . Archived from the original on 2005-02-17.
- Grace Abounding. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. 1969. ISBN 978-0-687-15659-7.
- The Ministry of Reconciliation. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. 1971. ISBN 978-0-687-27048-4.
- Women in Church and Society: A Historical and Theological Inquiry. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. 1972. ISBN 978-0-687-45965-0.
- Understanding the Kingdom of God. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. 1974. ISBN 978-0-687-42864-9. Archived from the original on 2005-02-17.
- Miles 2010a, p. 27.
- Tunstall 2014, p. 96.
- Miles 2010c, pp. 69–70.
- Miles 2010c, p. 70.
- Dorrien 2003, p. 390.
- Miles 2010b, pp. 1–2.
- Keller 2005, p. 1024.
- Keller 2005, pp. 1024–1025.
- Keller 2005, p. 1025.
- Harkness 1923; Keller 2005, p. 1025; Moore 2015, pp. 137–138.
- Keller 2005, p. 1026.
- Stulken 1981, p. 512.
- VanGilder 2016, p. 1043.
- Dorrien 2003, p. 357.
- Dorrien 2003, p. 398.
- Keller 2005, p. 1028.
- Dorrien, Gary (2003). The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900–1950. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22355-7.
- Harkness, Georgia Elma (1923). The Philosophy of Thomas Hill Green, with Special Reference to the Relations Between Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion (PhD dissertation). Boston: Boston University. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- Keller, Rosemary Skinner (2005). "Harkness, Georgia Elma (1891–1974)". In Shook, John R. (ed.). The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers. 2. Bristol, England: Thoemmes Continuum. pp. 1024–1029. ISBN 978-1-84371-037-0.
- Miles, Rebekah (2010a). "Conflicts in Religious Thought (1929): Section Preface". Georgia Harkness: The Remaking of a Liberal Theologian. By Harkness, Georgia. Miles, Rebekah (ed.). Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 26ff. ISBN 978-0-664-22667-1.
- ——— (2010b). "Introduction: Liberalism as 'the Centrum of American Theology'". Georgia Harkness: The Remaking of a Liberal Theologian. By Harkness, Georgia. Miles, Rebekah (ed.). Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 1–6. ISBN 978-0-664-22667-1.
- ——— (2010c). "The Recovery of Ideals (1937): Section Preface". Georgia Harkness: The Remaking of a Liberal Theologian. By Harkness, Georgia. Miles, Rebekah (ed.). Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 69–71. ISBN 978-0-664-22667-1.
- Moore, Rebecca (2015). Women in Christian Traditions. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-2961-3.
- Stulken, Marilyn Kay (1981). Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
- Tunstall, Dwayne A. (2014). "Affirming Personality, Criticizing Impersonalism, and Experiencing the Devine: The Schleiermachian Themes that Influenced Boston Personalism". In Wilcox, Jeffrey A.; Tice, Terrence N.; Kelsey, Catherine L. (eds.). Schleiermacher's Influences on American Thought and Religious Life (1835–1920). 2. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. pp. 94–110. ISBN 978-1-60608-005-4.
- VanGilder, Kirk (2016). "Harkness, Georgia". In Kurian, George Thomas; Lamport, Mark A. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. 5. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 1043–1044. ISBN 978-1-4422-4432-0.
- Frakes, Margaret (1952). "Theology Is Her Province". The Christian Century. Vol. 69 no. 39. pp. 1088–1091. ISSN 0009-5281.
- Harkness, Georgia (1939). "A Spiritual Pilgrimage". The Christian Century. Vol. 56 no. 11. pp. 348–3351. ISSN 0009-5281.
- Keller, Rosemary Skinner (1992). Georgia Harkness: For Such a Time as This. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-13276-8. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Langford, Thomas A. (1998). Practical Divinity: Theology in the Wesleyan Tradition (rev. ed.). Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-07382-5.
- Moore, Mary Elizabeth Mullino (1993). "To Search and to Witness: Theological Agenda of Georgia Harkness" (PDF). Quarterly Review. 13 (3): 3–23. ISSN 0270-9287. Retrieved February 2, 2019.