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Adventist Heritage Summer 2021: SDA Reforms Historical Analysis

This page rounds up primary sources we will use in RELH/HIST 360: Adventist Heritage (Summer 2021).


During our in-class historical analysis activity, your group will be assigned one of the subjects of reform listed below. 

With the other members of your discussion group, spend one hour studying the primary sources posted under your assigned topic. Use these sources, our class conversations, the reading, and your general knowledge of Adventist and/or American History to explore four questions posted in this activity's Canvas assignment (see the Class 2 module on our homepage). Use critical thinking and close analysis to sleuth out the answers to the best of your ability. You may not answer all the questions--this is alright. Complete as many as you can in one hour.

Your group will share its findings with the class at the end of the activity. You will each submit your written version of the answers through the Canvas assignment dropbox. 

Discussion questions [please submit answers in the Canvas quiz]:

1. Based on a close analysis of your topic's primary sources, describe the central features of the Adventist approach to Health/Education/Dress Reform. 
2. Study the non-SDA primary sources given for your assigned reform topic. Compare and contrast the non-SDA approach to reform with the Adventist Reform you just described. Identify 2-3 main points that are the same as the Adventist approach and 2-3 main points that are different.
3. Look closely at the dates of the primary sources. Consider the timeline of these reforms. How did the Adventist approach change over time? What, if anything, changed about the non-SDA approach?
4. Some critics of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are unimpressed that Ellen White and other early pioneers adopted reforms that were not "totally unique"--i.e., that others tried around the same time as the Church. What would you say to these critics? As your group brainstorms an answer, use what you learned from these primary sources, your readings, and class discussion to inform what you write.

Adventist Health Reform

In 1925, an occupational therapy class for St. Helena Sanitarium patients meets outdoors in the fresh air.

Other Health Reform

Adventist Education Reform

Front of Postcard:

Back of Postcard:

Verso reads: 
"Lloyd Martin mowing the first crop of hay at P.U.C. In those days we had 2 1/2 hrs of "free" time to put in before our pay started. Pay was 10 to 15 [cents] per hour."

Other Education Reform

Adventist Dress Reform

Ellen White pictured wearing the Adventist Reform Dress.


Other Dress Reform

Lizzie Stamp wearing the American Costume advocated at "Our Home" in Dansville.


Women wearing the clothing popularized by Amelia Bloomer in the 1850s.