Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

Kathryn Joyce, Author . Beacon $25.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-8070-1070-9

Journalist Joyce has conducted a groundbreaking investigation of a little-known movement among Christian evangelicals that rejects birth control and encourages couples to have as many children as possible. The movement, which takes its name from a verse in Psalm 127, advocates a retreat from society and a rejection of government policies that encourage equal rights for women, pregnancy prevention and an individualistic ethic. Quiverfull families share with more mainline Protestant groups, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, a belief that wives should submit to their husbands. But the group goes further by insisting that children be homeschooled and daughters forgo a college education in favor of early marriage and childbearing. The book probes a San Antonio–based ministry called Vision Forum, which began as a Christian homeschooling resource and now promotes “biblical patriarchy” through seminars and retreats. Members of the movement use militaristic metaphors and see themselves waging a war to win back the culture and rescue American society. The book lacks an in-depth historical account of the movement's connections to 19th- and 20th-century American fundamentalism or its accommodation with modernity, especially its heavy use of Internet blogs. Yet future historians and journalists will owe Joyce a debt of gratitude for her foray into this still nascent religious group. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 273 pages - 978-0-8070-9622-2
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-0-8070-1073-0
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