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Catherine Helen Spence
Title : Catherine Helen Spence Catherine Helen Spence
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Creator : Gordon, Maude, artist
Date of creation : ca. 1900
Format : Artwork
Catalogue record
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Description :
In 1873 the Melbourne Unitarian Church appointed a woman minister, Martha Tucker. She was to be a major inspiration for Catherine Helen Spence, a member of the Adelaide Unitarian Church at the time. The Unitarians were regarded by some Christians as heretical, because of their disbelief in the Trinity. In Adelaide the church was particularly strong, with many prosperous intellectuals being Unitarians. Even members of other churches regularly varied their Sundays with a visit to the Unitarian service in Wakefield Street. This included prominent men such as John Baker, premier of South Australia, and Sir Henry Ayers. Catherine Spence was drawn to the rational, liberal and enlightened views of the Unitarians which contrasted with her strict Presbyterian upbringing. She became a Unitarian preacher, and was known and respected in the wider community for her social and political work, as well as for her books.
Related names :

Ayers, Henry, Sir, 1821-1897

Baker, John, 1813-1872

Spence, Catherine Helen, 1825-1910

Tucker, Martha

Unitarian Church of South Australia

Coverage year : 1900
Place : Adelaide (S. Aust.); Wakefield Street (Adelaide, S. Aust.)
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
Friends of the State Library of South Australia. Bibliofile [Catherine Helen Spence issue], vol. 11, no. 2 (August 2004)
Hilliard, David. 'Unorthodox Christianity in South Australia: was South Australia really a paradise of dissent?', History Australia, vol. 2, no. 2 (June 2005) pp. 1-10
Hilliard, David and Whitham, Peter. Public lecture: Spence and Unitarianism [sound recording], 24 August 2004, OH 701/4
Magarey, Susan. Unbridling the tongues of women : a biography of Catherine Helen Spence, Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, c1985
Spence, Catherine Helen. Personal papers, PRG 88
Internet links :
Eade, Susan, 'Spence, Catherine Helen (1825 - 1910)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, Melbourne University Press, 1976, pp 167-168



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