[Letter] April 23,1892,Smith College [to F.H. Giddings]

April 23, 1892, Smith College.

Dear Friend,
     There is a chance,
which perhaps ought
to be improved, if
converting a lot of
affiliated Congregational
Clubs into a big
university extension class
for the study of themes
generally sociological. I
was a delegate to the
fellowship meeting of the
eleven Massachusetts clubs
lately held at Brockton.
I called attention to
the fact that the list of
topics lately discussed by
the various clubs would
fall within what, by a
large and lose use of
the term, is called
sociology. I suggested that
there would be a gain if
a course on themes of this
kind could be concurrently
pursued by all the clubs,
and that it would be
well if a list of topics
constituting such a course
should be prepared and
published, with the idea
that each club should
put as much or as little
as it pleased into its own
program. The result is
that I am asked to prepare
such a list or course to
be submitted to the Boston
club for action.
 Now I am somewhat at
sea as to the adaptation
of sociology to the needs
of clubs of ministers and
laymen. The course needs to
be very carefully made
if it is to be a success
for such uses. The members
are not students, but are
a rather elite class of
Philistines. I have an
idea that to begin with
we should enable them to
see what sociology is in
a scientific sense, also
what it is in a popular sense;
then give them as much as
they can take, with
condiments, of scientific
sociology, then and perhaps
chiefly, some concrete
applications. With a lot
of clubs holding about
six meetings per year
what could be done?
Would you mind suggesting
general themes for say
six long evenings?
 If the thing should be
adopted and expect courses
be laid out I should
want the privilege of
referring them to you
as best able to direct
them; also I shall tell
them I have consulted
you in any case.
Your counsel is worth
very much more than
mine. The chance
may not signify much,
but it may signify a
great deal. The whole
membership is large
and influential. In
particular it controls
the pulpit of New

    Yours Very Truly,
         J. B. Clark.

From Dr. Kenne Thomas to J. B. C.
concerning sociology and Congressional Clubs.

P.S. I wonder if Dr. Friend
would suggest books and
articles from which
the latest views on
these themes specified
could be had. I should
value them highly.

K. T.

Dear Friend,
      A few books etc. 
will strengthen Dr. Thomas'
hand before the clubs, if they
can be named without trouble.
The thing may or it may not.

          J. B. C.

[Letter] April 23,1892,Smith College [to F.H. Giddings]
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