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All Saints Summer Read: The Making of Biblical Womanhood

Sun, Aug 1 2021, 5:30pm

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

by Beth Allison Barr

“Biblical womanhood – the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers – pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments.

This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history – ancient, medieval, and modern – to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward.

Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.”

And it isn’t just evangelical circles. Even in the Episcopal Church, women clergy still do not have parity with their male colleagues and, in some dioceses, women are less welcome in leadership roles. Come join the conversation about this fascinating look at how sexism and misogyny became so prevalent in the Church.

The discussion will be held over four consecutive Sundays at 5:30 on Zoom. The book is available from your local, independent bookseller. You may also find it online. Contact the rector with any questions: