So, You Think You Can Live "Biblically?"

Darren Grem

That's the question that writer and blogger Rachel Held Evans is trying to answer. The author of a memoir about growing up in conservative evangelical circles (and with one of the best titles ever), Evans is addressing the issues raised in her first book about what it actually means to live fundamentalistically. As this Slate article details, this is not done for the sake of satire. Rather, she's attempting to answer what it actually means to live as a woman "by the book," following as closely as possible Old Testament and New Testament dictates concerning hair, dress, hygiene, and so on.

As the article demonstrates, she's only a month into the experiment and has already caught the attention of theological conservatives and biblical literalists. Though certainly intended to toss down the gauntlet on the "roles" of women in the church, the book will dive into issues of sex and the sacred that evangelicals all down the spectrum continue to debate, especially in and through their cultural and political activism. Regardless, it will hopefully make for a good read for courses on religious life, conservatism, and gender.

Postscript: Seth Dowland will certainly fill in the historical context for all this with his forthcoming book on manhood and womanhood in conservative evangelical politics. So, get your credit cards ready!


Randall said…
Evans spoke at ENC's chapel last year. Was a very good talk for the students to hear.
bethany said…
Point of information: Rachel's blog leads me to believe she is 10 months into her year.
B-Kelly said…
When I read this post I immediately thought of Matt Sutton's AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON and how gender roles are affected by religion. It never ceases to amaze me at how many interpretations there can be of the same book. I guess the meaning can vary as much as the individuals who read it, but it is interesting how different readings of the Bible can produce gender roles as extreme as McPherson and a Puritan 'Goodwife'. Living the ten commandments is too much for most people let alone all of the Bible's behavior prescriptions!