Georgia Harkness

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Dr. Georgia E. Harkness

Georgia Elma Harkness (April 21, 1891 – August 21, 1974) was a Christian theologian in the Methodist tradition.


Born in Harkness, New York, a town named after her grandfather, Harkness has been described as one of the first significant American female theologians and was important in the movement to gain ordination for women in American Methodism. Professor of applied theology at Garrett Biblical Institute (1939–1950) and the Pacific School of Religion (1950–1961), she was the first women to obtain full professorship in a U.S. theological seminary,[1] and became a leading figure in the modern ecumenical movement.

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 it is for theology."

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  1. ^ Marilyn Kay Stulken, "493. Hope of the World", Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981), p. 512.


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