An OLLI Course at the Reuter Center, University of North Carolina, Asheville
Spring 2019 (six weeks, Fridays 9-11am)
Instructor: Chris Highland
Chris Highland is a humanist freethinker with a background in ministry, interfaith chaplaincy and non-profit work. Author of A Freethinker’s Gospel and other books, Chris also writes the weekly “Highland Views” column for the Citizen-Times. He has taught at OLLI since 2016. His website is www.chighland.com.
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) was a Quaker preacher, abolitionist, women’s rights leader and peace activist. She was also a proud heretic in the tradition of freethought, hobnobbing with radicals such as Stanton, Garrison and Douglass. Some called her a dangerous disturber and infidel.
We will explore this amazing woman’s thought, how it changed the course of American history, and how her voice remains relevant and pragmatic for our time.
All readings will be provided on the course website.
Course Outline (All Class Readings will be posted here)
Week One (3/29): Dangerous Ideas (overview of the history of Freethought)
Week Two (4/5): Lucretia Mott: Life
Skip 4/12 (NO CLASS)
Week Three (4/19): Early Associations
Selected Speeches and Sermons (primarily pp. 6-16)
In Class: Associations, Aims and Accomplishments
Week Four (4/26): Women’s Rights/Human Rights
Selected Speeches and Sermons (primarily pp. 20-31)
In Class: Declaration of Sentiments (1848)
Week Five (5/3): New Gospel of Truth
Selected Speeches and Sermons (primarily pp. 32-43)
Week Six (5/10): Her Voice for Today
Short Summary of Mott’s Life (Library of Congress)
Leadership and Legacy (Susan Jacoby)
Truth, Heresy and Lucretia Mott (from A Freethinker’s Gospel)
American Friends Service Committee (one way Lucretia’s voice and work moves forward)
“No Religion” is becoming the Largest Religion? –Where would Lucretia land on the chart?