Unmaking Biblical Womanhood

Brad speaks with Dr. Jill Hicks Keeton about her critical review of Beth Allison Barr’s popular new book “The Making of Biblical Womanhood.”

Here is an excerpt of the article:

“Barr is certainly right that patriarchy is socially constructed and not a given or natural framework for organizing society. But one of the tasks of the historian, I think, is to make visible the work that has gone into making the contingent seem natural.

Yet when it comes to the sacred anchor of Barr’s evangelical tradition, the Bible, Barr pulls her punches. The Bible, particularly Paul’s writings within it, manages to escape critical analysis. Christianity “rightly” practiced and the Bible “rightly” read are both, for Barr, anti-patriarchal. Barr reinterprets, for example, the so-called “household codes” in the New Testament, which uphold patriarchal order of man over wife (and master over enslaved), by attributing their oppressive hierarchies not to Jesus-followers but to the “fallen” world around them.”

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