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Slate Article: RHE dissecting Biblical Womanhood


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Sorry if this was posted before, but did anyone else catch the slate article about Rachel Held Evans? She's "pulling an A.J. Jacobs" and spending a year trying to follow every instruction in the Bible for women, including some obscure and seemingly ridiculous (sleeping in a tent and not touching any seat in her house while menstruating).

I've followed her blog for a while, and I'm glad to see this project getting attention in non-religious publications as well. It makes me relieved that somebody is actually engaging and challenging the Biblical Womanhood perspective using their sacred text and language-- something I (and most other egalitarians/feminists I know) don't come close to having the patience for. I'd have a headache having to respond to 5% of her blog's criticism.

Here's to anticipating the actual book.

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I may read this book. I like RHE a lot, even though I don't share her beliefs any more. I envy her ability - so far - to maintain her belief system while dealing with its many flaws and oppressive tendencies. This is from the article, which I found interesting:

Evans has been writing about the womanhood project on her blog, but outside her own supportive commenters, the project has received criticism already. A piece on the website of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the leading proponent of "complementarian"—anti-egalitarian—gender roles in the church, accused her of a "mocking" attitude. Others have tut-tutted over her interpretation method, and called the project "dangerous." Evans told me a lot of people misunderstand her aims. "They fear that I'll make the Bible and those who love it look stupid, which would be hard because I read the Bible and love the Bible."

Any time a woman who is working on a social awareness of any type is called "dangerous", it means she's probably doing it right.

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I'm definitely going to read it, and I've been following her blog and facebook page for a while.

People are freaked out by it because she has a knack for pointing out inconsistencies and how both sides sometimes pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow and which to ignore. Because she's a Christian and has a pretty large online following, they can't just dismiss her as a nonbeliever or somebody unimportant, so they have to try to discredit her. The feeling I get from her is that she is a sincere Christian and really is trying to examine and figure out what the Bible means and how it applies to her and other believers in this time, and I can respect that a lot more than some of the crowd who seem to write just to support a certain agenda or group they are affiliated with.

For those who haven't checked out her blog, one thing she does that I've enjoyed and learned from is "Ask a ____". She takes questions from readers and they are answered by a guest poster who holds a certain viewpoint (Christian, but from different traditions, denominations, or beliefs & lifestyles). Some recent ones are ask a gay Christian, ask a Calvinist, ask an evolutionary creationist, and ask a Mennonite.

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