Sabbath in the garden : time, space, and moral reform at California colleges (1851-1900)

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Lee, Michel Sunhae

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This historical examination of private California colleges between 1851 and 1900 presents the argument that the related projects of Anglo-Protestant moral reform and higher education were concerned not only with sacred space, but also sacred time. Secondarily, it draws an examination of California higher education in the early decades of the state into a national, rather than simply regional, narrative. Drawing on newspapers, images, student publications, college catalogues and handbooks, and missionary reports, I argue that educators conceived of campuses as spaces of moral safety from the corrupting influences of urban society, as well as temporal havens that stayed the tide of secular change. This endeavor to temporally and spatially protect Christian morality found its culmination in regulations for Sunday Sabbath-keeping and chapel attendance enforced upon students at Mills College, the University of the Pacific, Occidental College, and antecedents of the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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