Journals Higher Education



Published: 29 July 2010

360 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195390209

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Bookseller Code (06)

No Silent Witness

The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World

Cynthia Grant Tucker

Religion in America

  • As revisionist history, this biography challenges the focus and limits of liberal religious scholarship, the bulk of which has remained androcentric and skewed to the public stage.
  • This book includes such clerical failings as one brother's sordid affair and his colleagues' efforts to cover it up; the Eliot husband's domestic tyranny; and their wives' susceptibility to loneliness and depression.
  • This book emphasizes the important roles of Abby and Martha Eliot, who choose same-sex partnerships over traditional marriage, are given the prominence they deserve. In the chapters given to them, emerging not only as integral parts of the family, but as professional women whose work, fueled by a pastoral impulse, represents an evolution of the clergy wives' roles.
  • The struggles the Eliot women had a century ago are still common among the spouses and children of clergy today.