The Making Biblical of Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth

Beth Allison Barr. Brazos, $19.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-5874-3470-9
In this trenchant blend of memoir and analysis, historian Barr (Faith and History) challenges the Christian evangelical belief that male dominance and female submission are required of the faithful. In 2016, Barr and her husband were fired from their work in youth ministry because of their rejection of the theological argument that “gender hierarchy [is] divinely ordained.” Barr channeled her anger into examining church history in order to better understand the origins of that belief and the related concept of “biblical womanhood,” or female submission to male authority. What she found was that “textual and historical evidence counters the complementarian model of biblical womanhood and the theology behind it.” Barr centers much of her criticism on late-20th-century evangelical movements, such as pastor Russell Moore’s insistence on the benefits of “Christian partriarchy” and a 1998 statement from Southern Baptist Convention that “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the serrvant leadership of her husband.” Barr argues that, far from being a part of God’s plan, patriarchy is a sin, and the notion of “biblical womanhood” is a 20th-century artifact. “Historically,” Barr observes, “women have flourished as leaders, teachers, and preachers—even in the evangelical world.” This is a powerful work of skillful research and personal insight. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/29/2020
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-58743-534-8
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