The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

This book is one part memoir, one part history, and one part social commentary. It opens on the heartbreaking situation her family went through when her husband was fired over women’s role in the church. This event brings her to contemplate over the Church’s history with women in the church and how patriarchy has played a destructive role.

I liked how informative it was, how every opinion and reflection was backed my historical data. Towards the end of the book, she shows how patriarchal values can be a danger to women and marginalized people. She used the #metoo movement to exemplify the dangers of having one people with power over another. It was interesting because I see us even farther down the dangerous road she describes.

The medieval history was fascinating, as well as the reformation, how they compare to present day. There were cycles that showed up even during the early church with the Roman empire’s culture of patriarchy. She showed how these cycles, while maybe a little different in creation, still maintained a lot of the problems of the previous cycles because patriarchy still played a major role in society.

The mixture of theology and history was informative. I don’t think this should be the only book on one’s shelf when it comes to reflecting on the current hierarchy of the church and the problems it brings. But it should definitely have a voice in the discussion. I would recommend this book to any church leader or someone who likes to learn about church history.

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2 thoughts on “The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

  1. Grace

    This book was eye-opening for me. The author’s expert insight into the cultural, political and economic influences of our modern translation and interpretation of scripture is enlightening. It has spurred me to dig deeper into other social topics which scripture may need more historical background and etymology to best understand the original intent. Another book on my TBR list is ‘Jesus and John Wayne.’

    1. Katy Post author

      Yes, I have that book on my TBR as well! I have another book review coming soon by Brian McLaren which you might enjoy called Do I Stay Christian?


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