George Yeisley Rusk papers
- Rusk, George Yeisley, 1891-1982 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
5.38 Cubic Feet (4 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box)
Biographical / Historical
In the early 1920s, Rusk served as a minister of the York Beach Church, York Beach, Maine. In 1924, he taught philosophy and psychology of religion at Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine. He returned to Baltimore in 1926 and taught Biblical Literature at Goucher College. During 1929-1932, Rusk taught philosophy and psychology at Commonwealth College, Mena, Arkansas. In 1932, Rusk organized the School of Human Relations in New York City, an organization for adult education. Rusk returned to teaching at junior colleges in Morris County and Passaic County, New Jersey, 1933-1935.
After the 1930s, Rusk's career was less formalized, and he looked for areas where he could promote his personal philosophy through writings and participation in scholarly societies. His study of Gestalt thinking enabled him to develop what he described as "a methodology for the resolution of cultural conflicts." He described his method of thought in an article entitled "The Resolution of Cultural Conflicts," published March 1951 in the Indian journal, Abigla. He proposed that culture could be organized into elements with an assigned value. Contradictions in thought would be measured and eventually overcome progressively. Later Rusk began to integrate his philosophical and religious thought with psychic studies.
During the 1940s, Rusk sought out other like-minded scholars, philosophers, and scientists to form societies where common ideas and interests could be explored. Another basic premise of Rusk's work was that religion and contemporary culture could be integrated, and this resulted in the formation of the Society for Religious Culture begun in 1942. (This continued until 1948, possibly longer.) Other groups in which Rusk actively participated included The American Association of Scientific Workers, The International Science Forum, The Society for a Democratic Spiritual Culture, and The International Wider Religious Fellowship.
Rusk returned to academics (1946-1951) at the University of Baltimore where he taught literature and rhetoric. He formed the Know-Nothing Club, an independent group of faculty members who made recommendations for reform in university policy. Rusk's method of teaching sometimes conflicted with standard expectations in the English Department, and he was not re-appointed after 1951.
In the 1950s, Rusk began a study of psychic possibilities or what he described as the "interior world of experience." Rusk's own findings were outlined in Science and Cosmic Meaning, a volume published only in India. Once again, he planned an association to bring together other scientists for shared explorations. The Society for Psychic Studies was begun in 1955, and eventually Rusk hoped to incorporate this new association into a larger undertaking. From the early 1960s until the mid 1970s, Rusk planned for a Senior Research Institute (or Senior Resident Institute) where retired scholars could come together for discussion and continued research. Rusk envisioned a complex, fully serviced, where professional people, newly freed from academic responsibilities, would enjoy an environment conducive to creative thinking. He was able to interest the Rouse Company, developers of the planned community in Columbia, Md., in his proposal, but acquiring funding for non-profit housing proved difficult. There is no evidence that the Institute was ever realized.
Underlying much of Rusk's philosophy was the belief that problems in modern life and culture could be solved by using his method of logical reasoning blended with principles of Christian beliefs. Throughout his life, Rusk wrote extensively on these subjects, and many articles were published in philosophical and church-related journals including Philosophy of Science and the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.
Rusk moved from Baltimore in 1972 and resided in Columbia, Md. George Yeisley Rusk died in 1982.
Scope and Contents
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Bard, Philip, 1898-1977
- Churchman, C. West (Charles West), 1913-2004
- College teachers
- Culture conflict
- Gestalt psychology
- Life care communities
- Murphy, Gardner, 1895-1979
- Retirement communities
- Rusk, George Yeisley, 1891-1982
- Tax returns
- United States
- University of Baltimore
- Wilson, Theodore Halbert
- manuscripts (documents)
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA