Episode: In the opening pages of her new book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood (Brazos, 2021), Beth Allison Barr writes, “This was my understanding of biblical womanhood: God designed women primarily to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers. God designed men to lead in the homes as husbands and fathers, as well as in church as pastors, elders, and deacons. I believed that this gender hierarchy was divinely ordained. Elisabeth Elliot famously wrote that femininity receives. Women surrender, help, and respond while husbands provide, protect, and initiate. A biblical woman is a submissive woman. This was my world for more than forty years. Until, one day, it wasn’t.”

Guest: Beth Allison Barr, Professor of Church History and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at Baylor University. Her research focuses on women in medieval and early modern sermons. She is also interested in the way that the Reformation affected women, as well as in how attitudes toward women changed and stayed the same from the medieval to the Reformation era.

(From Baylor's Website): Beth Allison Barr received her B.A. from Baylor University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on women and religion in medieval and early modern England, especially in how they are viewed and portrayed in sermon literature. How the advent of Protestantism affected women’s roles in the church has carried her research beyond medieval Catholicism into the world of early modern Baptists. Beth is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England, co-editor of The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation, The Making of Biblical Womanhood (Brazos, 2021), and author of more than a dozen articles (published and forthcoming). She is currently working on her next book, Women in English Sermons, 1350-1700. She is also a regular contributor to The Anxious Bench, a religious history blog on Patheos which has paved the way for her contributions in Christianity Today and The Washington Post.

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