Dialogue on Equality, Religion and
Mrs. Stanton’s 1893 Parliament Address
Dr. Allison Stokes and Dr. Melinda Grube
in Toronto, November 5th, 2018
Celebrated 19th century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote a paper for the first Parliament of World Religions held in Chicago 1893. Because she was unable to attend, her friend and colleague Susan B. Anthony read it for her.
At the seventh Parliament in Toronto, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, played by Grube in full period costume, and Stokes, a contemporary clergywoman, discuss that notable event of one hundred and twenty five years ago. A thinker well ahead of her time, Stanton’s multi-faith perspective and significance for 21st century people are compelling and inspiring.
In the dialogue between Stanton and Stokes, as well as in Stanton’s responses to questions from participants, her inclusive, humanist perspective and her equal rights advocacy will be evident. Mrs. Stanton was a pioneering change agent who believed in humanity’s potential to transcend inequality, injustice, and conflict by recognizing that “a loving human fellowship is the real divine communion.”
Melinda Grube, an independent scholar who focuses on the religious and radical reform history of New York State, is acclaimed for her in-depth knowledge and in-person appearances throughout New York as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
A pamphlet published by the Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Finger Lakes will be distributed to those attending the Parliament session in Toronto. It includes Stanton’s address, an introduction by Grube describing the historical context, as well as a photo of her as Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This is available from the Institute at P.O. Box 131, Seneca Falls, NY 13148.
2012 Dialogue between Mrs. Stanton and Stokes
The Toronto event is not the first time that Mrs. Stanton (Melinda) and Allison have had a conversation. As part of the ongoing, biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues in 2012, they spoke together about “Reason, Religion and Mrs. Stanton’s Bible.” This was recorded by Dave and Darlene Duprey and can be viewed on YouTube: