The light within us : Quaker women in science Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kw52jc30x

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  • This thesis explores the role of Quaker women in science in an attempt to arrive at some understanding of what motivated Quaker women in nineteenth century America to go into the sciences. George Fox founded the Society of Friends in the mid-seventeenth century in England and the Quaker theology centered on the concept of the Inner Light, which is the idea that everyone has the capacity to perceive, recognize, and respond to God. Following their Inner Light to find God, Quakers also referred to themselves as "seekers of truth." Additionally, Quakers have believed since their inception in the equality between men and women. Given the Quaker desire to pursue truth and their belief that women have the same capacity to do so as men, it is not surprising that there were a number of Quaker women in science. Through an examination of three Quaker women in science, I discuss the Quaker influences in their lives and works with the larger goal of demonstrating the inherent connections that exist between Quaker theology and the pursuit of science in the nineteenth century. One such connection lies within the tradition of natural theology, which was prevalent in the larger scientific community in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The connection that is unique to Quakers, though, relates to their idea of the search for truth, which led many Quakers to employ scientific methods. The three Quaker women examined in this study, astronomer Maria Mitchell, naturalist Graceanna Lewis, and medical doctor Ann Preston, were all truth-seekers in some sense who wanted to find evidence of God's work within nature.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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