Just Watch Rachel Held Evans

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One of my favorite lines from Rachel Held Evans’ interview on The Today Show this week, about her new book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, comes toward the end:

“As a person of faith, I love the Bible, and I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective.”

Several times, Evans alludes to this idea that the bible and women are much more complicated (and more interesting!) than just a fixed set of “roles and rules.”

She also challenges the conservative evangelical Christian subculture in which she was raised, pointing out that “people throw around this phrase, biblical womanhood, as if that’s something that any of us are really practicing.”

I can’t wait to read the book, and hope that many people will check it out and think more critically and carefully about drawing straight lines between ancient cultures and the twenty-first century.  Perhaps the Christians who are worried about this can do as Rachel did, and focus on doing and understanding those things that help strengthen our abilities to love God and our neighbors.

Here is an earlier post I wrote on Rachel’s response to The Gospel Coalition and other “patriarchalists.”


About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.