Salem to Today: The Dignity of Women

    Improve listing Presented by

Salem to Today: The Dignity of Women
A Living Connections Forum

Old South Church in Boston
Corner of Boylston & Dartmouth Streets, Copley T Station
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 6:00 pm

In the 1600s an epidemic of lethal proportions swept Massachusetts Bay Colony, culminating in a small, unsuspecting village just north of Boston. It did not discriminate across class lines, or between the young and the old. But for every one man accused of witchcraft in Salem, three women would meet the same fate.

The Salem Witch Trials will forever be a mixed and messy chapter in our history - as a nation, as a Commonwealth and as a church. To the anguish of Old South Church’s minister who actively opposed the hysteria, some members of the church were accused of witchcraft while, at the same time, church member Judge Samuel Sewall sat on the court that condemned the innocent. But unlike his fellow magistrates, Sewall would publicly admit his egregious mistake five years later, going on to confront societal issues, including the right and dignity of women, in his writings.

As a historic, landmark church, Old South Church is aware of its past—the good, the bad and the not so pretty—and the history that it has helped to write. As a vibrant congregation it is called to engage its faith not just within its beautiful space but in the contested crossroads of the world.

Join Old South Church in Boston on Wednesday, May 23 at 6:00 pm in their Gordon Chapel to ask, how has the church—and Old South Church—contributed to the dignity of women in church and society and how are we called to do so today? From the Salem Witch Trials to suffrage, from the 17th century to the 21st, the church of poet Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth “Mother” Goose, and Pilgrim Mary Chilton invites you to engage this topic.

The dynamic and interactive program will include framing comments by Old South Church Senior Minister Nancy S. Taylor as well as Women’s Lunch Place Advocacy Manager Tara Rousseau. Participants will then be asked to engage their own voices in small group discussions around contemporary issues and what we are called to do in this time and place. Opportunities to engage the ongoing issues of dignity and equality will be presented. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to all. For more information, call (617) 536-1970 or visit