Religion and the Rights of Women: Mary Astell to Mary Wollstonecraft

Friday, November 19, 2004
4:00 pm PST

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

The Third Annual Richard H. and Juliet G. Popkin Lecture in Intellectual History and the History of Philosophy

—given by Sarah Hutton, Middlesex University

The lecture focuses on some of the women who argued for equality, education and the expansion of female agency in the century prior to the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). Since, prior to Wollstonecraft, women did not use the terminology of rights as such, this lecture sets out to trace continuities in the ways they make their case. The central thesis is that the religious and ethical views of politically-conscious women were central to the way they articulated their case for what subsequently came to be discussed as women’s rights. The lecture centers on the work of Mary Astell, Elizabeth Carter, Catherine Macaulay Graham, and Mary Wollstonecraft.

This lecture is made possible by the generous support of Richard H. and Juliet G. Popkin.