Katharine Bushnell lived from 1856 to 1946. She was a doctor, a missionary, an advocate for those without other advocates, and a theologian. Her commitment to the authority of Scripture was strong. About the Bible she said, “No other basis of procedure is available for us.” She learned Greek and Hebrew, and was particularly interested in applying her knowledge of biblical languages to understanding what the Bible had to say about gender. She spoke seven languages.
Author and theologian Mimi Haddad (where I first learned about Bushnell, via this PDF article) writes about her:
Bushnell grounds the ontological equality of men and women first in the early chapters of Genesis where, according to Bushnell, we learn that Adam and Eve were both created in the image of God, that Adam and Eve were both equally called to be frutiful and to exercise dominion in Eden, that Eve was not the source of sin, and that God does not curse women because of Eve.
Bushnell began a hospital of pediatrics in Shanghai, was part of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and helped found a homeless shelter for women in Chicago.
Psalm 68:11 says, “The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.”
Bushnell joins Perpetua and countless others as part of a mighty throng of women who have proclaimed God’s word in ways that continue to inspire today.