So you’re the little woman who started this big war, Abraham Lincoln is said to have quipped when he met Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin converted readers by the thousands to the anti-slavery movement and served notice that slavery’s days were numbered.
Overnight Stowe became a celebrity, but to defenders of slavery she was the devil in petticoats. Most writing about Stowe treats her as a literary figure and social reformer while underplaying her Christian faith. But Nancy Koester’s biography, Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life, treats Stowe’s faith as central to her life – both her public fight against slavery and her own struggle through deep personal grief to find a gracious God.
Nancy Koester, Author
Nancy Koester teaches religion at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. An ordained Lutheran minister, she has also written Fortress Introduction to the History of Christianity in the United States and Journeying through Lent with Luke.