Evangelical Feminism: A History / Edition 1

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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 Feminism offers 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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

“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.”

“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

“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

Library Journal
Cochran (religious studies, Univ. of Virginia) here presents the first complete history of the American evangelical feminist movement. Her detailed examination surpasses broad overviews like Christel Manning's God Gave Us the Right. Starting in the 1970s, Cochran observes, evangelicals were split over how to interpret the Bible correctly. Traditionalists asserted the long-standing dictum of scriptural infallibility. However, younger evangelicals were pushing for a reexamination of Scripture using modern techniques. These progressive evangelicals were also striving to reconsider what the Bible had to say about modern social issues, including women's rights. This climate of reexamination set the stage for the evangelical feminist movement. From here, Cochran chronicles evangelical feminism to today. Included are key players like Nancy Hardesty and Virginia Mollenkott, the movement's internal split over lesbianism, and evangelical feminism's relation to present-day traditionalists. An admirable first attempt at examining a significant issue facing Protestant Christianity, this is highly recommended for libraries with comprehensive collections on religious studies and Christianity. Collections that emphasize women's studies should also consider.-Brad S. Matthies, Butler Univ. Lib., Indianapolis Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814716502
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Cochran is associate director of the Center on Religion and Democracy and lecturer in religious studies at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 We’re on Our Way, Lord! The Birth of Biblical Feminism, 1973–1975
3 All We’re Meant to Be: The Early Years of Biblical Feminism, 1975–1983
4 Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? The Crisis in Biblical Feminism, 1984–1986
5 Empowered by the Word, I: Theological Changes in Biblical Feminism, 1986–
6 Empowered by the Word, II: Organizational Changes in Biblical Feminism, 1986–
7 Conclusion
About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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