In this episode, Prof. Eva Payne discusses the importance of empathy in religious scholarship. Through the lens of her master’s thesis on Laura Lathrop—who helped establish Christian Science in New York City—Payne applies a “critically empathetic” approach to her research and writing. She enters into the heart of her subject matter, then steps back to provide scholarly objectivity on her findings.

For more on Laura Lathrop, read this profile from Longyear Museum, an independent historical museum “dedicated to advancing an understanding of Mary Baker Eddy as Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science.”


Podcast guest

Dr. Eva Payne
Dr. Eva PayneAssistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Payne is a historian of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States, with a focus on women, gender, and sexuality and the U.S. in transnational perspective. She received her master’s degree in U.S. Religious History from Harvard Divinity School. Her thesis, “Laura Lathrop’s Letters: The Challenge of Theology and Practice to Scholarship on Christian Science,” was based on research conducted through a fellowship at The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Payne holds a PhD in American Studies from Harvard University.




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