Sarah_Bessey A vocal charismatic from western Canada, Sarah Bessey has just come out with her first book, (2013)   Jesus Feminist . It’s a highly relational and popular account of how Bessey’s love for Jesus flows into her approach to female flourishing. As part of the launch for the book, she’s been giving interviews, including one at Christianity Today . While I have not read all of her book, the bits I have suggest that Bessey wants to reclaim the nineteenth-century heritage that has shaped many women in the Holiness-Pentecostal movement.

Phoebe Palmer
Phoebe Palmer

In certain respects the “mother” of these women is the Methodist Phoebe Palmer , while their midwife is Harriet Beecher Stowe . From her home in Manhattan, Palmer represented the center of the holiness movement at least through 1870. The daughter of Lyman Beecher , Stowe encountered the holiness movement through her associations with Palmer and the college professor turned holiness advocate, Thomas Upham .

After his experience of sanctification, Upham mined the spiritual tradition for insights, writing on the Spanish and French Quietists, Catherine of Genoa, and others. In fact, it was most likely a dinner discussion between the Stowes and the Uphams about the new Fugitive Slave Law passed by Congress in 1850 that became a catalyst for Uncle Tom’s Cabin . Upham defied the law in harboring a run-away slave the very next evening.