Evangelical Feminism: A History

Evangelical Feminism: A History

Evangelical Feminism: A History

Evangelical Feminism: A History


"This is a timely book about the tortuous journey of biblical feminism in our time. The book will sober its own constituencies while also contributing to the ongoing analysis of contemporary American religion and gender." - Marie Griffith, author of God's Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission

"Pamela Cochran interweaves two engaging stories in this carefully researched study, both of which are vitally important to our understanding of American evangelicalism. One story is about the small cadre of feminist leaders within evangelicalism who struggled heroically against the tide of rising political conservatism and male dominance. The other is about evangelicalism's often unwitting embrace of biblical hermeneutics, therapeutic individualism, and consumerism, and its difficulties in adapting to an increasingly pluralistic culture. Scholars in religious studies, history, and the social sciences will benefit greatly from reading this book." - Robert Wuthnow, author of Saving America?: Faith-Based Services and the Future of Civil Society

"A valuable book that tells a story that is obscured amid the thunderous and simplifying voices that dominate public discussion of religion and gender politics." - Altar Magazine

"Finally! Cochran's Evangelical Feminism provides a detailed analysis of the articulation of egalitarianism and feminist ideas--and their opponents--in evangelical organizations, theological debates and leadership in the 1970s and 1980s. A welcome addition to the field." - Sally K. Gallagher, author of Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life

"Cochran intends her concrete analysis of the split among evangelical feminists to exemplify larger themes in the story of American religious life, including inclusivity, anti-institutionalism, individualism, voluntarism, and populism. This text would make a worthy addition to women's studies collections and to theological libraries." - Choice

For most people, the terms "evangelical" and "feminism" are contradictory. "Evangelical" invokes images of conservative Christians known for their strict interpretation of the Bible, as well as their support of social conservatism and traditional gender roles. So how could an evangelical support feminism, a movement that seeks, at its most basic level, to redress the inequalities, injustice, and discrimination that women face because of their sex? Evangelical Feminismoffers the first history of the evangelical feminist movement. It traces the emergence and theological development of biblical feminism within evangelical Christianity in the 1970s, how an internal split among members of the movement came about over the question of lesbianism, and what these developments reveal about conservative Protestantism and religion generally in contemporary America. Cochran shows that biblical feminists have been at the center of changes both within evangelicalism and in American culture more broadly by renegotiating the religious symbols which shape its deepest values.

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