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Lyman, Mary Ely (1887–1975)

Lyman, Mary Ely (1887–1975)

American theologian. Name variations: Mary Ely. Born Mary Redington Ely, Nov 24, 1887, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont; died Jan 9, 1975, in Claremont, CA; dau. of Henry Guy Ely (factory manager) and Adelaide (Newell) Ely; Mount Holyoke College (1911); Union Theological Seminary, BD, 1919; attended Cambridge University, 1919–20; University of Chicago, PhD, 1924; m. Eugene W. Lyman (professor, Union Theological Seminary), Feb 13, 1926 (died 1948).

The only woman in her class at Union Theological Seminary, was ranking scholar at graduation; was also the 1st woman to receive a Philadelphia Traveling fellowship (1919); wrote Paul the Conqueror (1919), The Christian Epic (1936) and Into All the World (1956); taught at Vassar College (1920–26), becoming Weyerhauser Professor of Religion (1923); published doctoral dissertation, "The Knowledge of God in the Fourth Gospel," as Knowledge of God in Johannine Thought (1925); taught at Barnard College and at Union Theological Seminary (1929–40); was dean and professor of religion at Sweet Briar College, VA (1940–50); worked with World Council of Churches Commission on Life and Work of Women in the Churches (1948–54); ordained as Congregational minister (1949); at Union Theological Seminary, was Morris K. Jessup professor of English Bible and dean of women students (1950–55), the 1st woman to hold faculty chair there, and one of the 1st women to be a full professor at an American seminary; taught at Scripps College (1964–65).

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