I’m working at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum as their in-house designer. As far as design goes, I haven’t done much on my first day. What I have done is look at the wall of books about Jane Addams. I’ve done some online research and found the above link to a speech Addams gave on one of her influences in social work/justice: Tolstoy. My main question, being a Chrisitan who also cares about social justice, was about Jane’s spiritual motivation. Why care?
I suggest skimming the speech seeing as it is a little long and dated in content. Read the last five paragraphs about Tolstoy’s faith. After reading it, I was saddened. Tolstoy (and apparently Addams) denounced the diety of Jesus but closely “followed His teachings.” I wish I could meet them and ask many questions. Why follow a Man’s teachings on radiaclly loving the poor, and pacifism but deny His claim as diety? I suppose I will never know in the case of Tolstoy and Addams, but looking into all this has stirred up many questions and ideas about my personal desire for social justice. Something I need to mull over before I take a stance: Is their cause for both social justice and Biblical truth?