Alfred B. Starratt sermon
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of four pages of the typewritten text of sermon titled "The Problem of the Suffering of the Innocent: A Sermon on Archibald MacLeish’s Play entitled J.B." and preached by the Reverend Alfred B. Starratt at Emmanuel Church on the 5th of April, 1959. The sermon is based on Archibald MacLeish's J.B., a play written in 1958. The play was a modernized version of the Book of Job and deals with what is considered a paradox of religious faith: if God is good and ominpotent, why is there suffering in the world? MacLeish's play has been a popular subject for sermons since it was published.
- Creation: 1959 April 5
- Starratt, Alfred B. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Biographical / Historical
The Rev. Dr. Alfred B. Starratt was born in 1914, in Quincy, Mass. He was a graduate of Boston University, Episcopal Theological School, now Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.; and received his doctorate in philosophy and history of religion from Harvard University. Dr. Starratt served as rector at St. Anne’s Church, Lincoln, Mass., before being asked to serve as professor of philosophy and religion at Huachung University, Wuchang, China. He and his family traveled to China on the first ship to cross the Pacific after World War II. There he taught for four years until the Communist Revolution forced him to flee. Once back in the United States, he served parishes in Stockbridge, Mass., Gambier, Ohio, and finally Baltimore, Md., where he was rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church for 30 years. There, through his dynamic presentation of modern ideas of religion, and challenging his listeners to not “check their brains at the door” when they entered the church, he gathered a growing congregation of people who found traditional theology no longer persuasive. He conducted numerous study groups on world religions and had a weekly radio broadcast listened to by more than 560,000 people. He also became active in the social issues of the time. A staunch supporter of equal rights, he was made chairman of the first Equal Rights Commission in Maryland, where he fought vigorously for equal treatment of African-Americans in employment, housing and access to public facilities. He also served on the national boards of Planned Parenthood and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. He was among the first clergy to demonstrate against the Vietnam War at the national capital. An avid racing sailor in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, he also raced in the Chesapeake Bay where he was a charter member of the Severn Sailing Association. He was the author of “The Real God,” published in 1965 and “Your Self, My Self & The Self of the Universe,” published in 1979.
0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of four pages of the typewritten text of sermon titled "The Problem of the Suffering of the Innocent: A Sermon on Archibald MacLeish’s Play entitled J.B." and preached by the Reverend Alfred B. Starratt at Emmanuel Church on the 5th of April, 1959.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Mrs. Dulany Balch in a volume of Archibald MacLeish's J.B., on May 12, 1986.
Finding aid prepared by Holly Callahan in February 2004.
- Alfred B. Starratt sermon
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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