Between two paradigms: Harriet Pullen and the earliest Australian female preachers

Nicole Starling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article focuses on an eye-witness account of a series of sermons preached in Brown's River, Tasmania, in 1836-1838 by Harriet Pullen - arguably the earliest documented instance of female preaching in Australia. It explores the context, motivation, and reception of Harriet's preaching, comparing it with the two main paradigms of female preachers that can be found in the contemporary literature: the preacher as "prophetess" and the preacher as "helpmeet." While Harriet has much in common with both paradigms, she does not fit neatly into either. Her preaching activity is best understood as a convergence of the two paradigms, within a context of domestic church gatherings in a frontier missionary situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-419
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Religious History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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