August seminar: Escaped Nuns and New Zealand Religious History

For those of you in the Auckland area, here are details of our August Theology and Religion seminar, presented by our very own Dr Nick Thompson. Not to be missed.

The Escaped Nun: Taking the Sectarian Temperature of
Nineteenth Century New Zealand
3-4pm, Friday 14 August, 206-201 (Arts 1).
Maria MonkBetween October 1885 and March 1886 the “Escaped Nun,” Edith O’Gorman, lectured her way around the cities and towns of New Zealand on a tour hosted by the Grand Orange Lodge. When O’Gorman arrived here she was already a veteran of the international circuit for anti-Catholic lecturers. Her career began in 1868, when she left her convent in New Jersey, and she continued to make a living on the anti-popery platform almost until of her death in London in 1929. Her exposé on the horrors of convent life and perils of the confessional was a best-seller, which ran into dozens of editions, and was still being published in the 1950s.In New Zealand, as in the US and UK, O’Gorman’s lectures drew large and apparently appreciative audiences. The international scope of her activity allows us to make comparisons between her reception in New Zealand and elsewhere in the English-speaking world at the same time, and thus to assess whether 19th century New Zealand was quite as religiously tolerant or indifferent as has sometimes been claimed.

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