Stalcup Webinar – The Cost of Writing Women Out of Christian History

Date(s) - 01/21/2023
9:30 am - 11:00 am

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The Cost of Writing Women Out of Christian History
Sixteenth Jean and Parker Wilson Seminar
Saturday, January 21, 2023
9:30 to 11:00 am CT

In 1964, Watts Street Baptist Church—a Southern Baptist church in Durham, North Carolina—ordained Addie Davis to pastoral ministry. Nor was Davis alone. She stood amidst a great cloud of women ordained to ministry in the 19th and 20th centuries, not to mention the long line of women serving in official Christian ministry roles throughout the pre-modern era. Yet, despite the long historical reality of women in public ministry, when Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church ordained three women in 2021, the conservative evangelical church erupted in protest at this “unbiblical” capitulation to modern culture. While a hardening of conservative theological attitudes toward women in the latter half of the 20th century contributed to growing discomfort with ordained women, theology is only part of the story. Drawing from ancient, medieval, and modern history, this seminar shows how the rigidity of Christian patriarchy among modern conservative evangelicals stems as much from how we have told history as it does from changes in our theology.

Beth Allison Barr, PhD, is Professor of History and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at Baylor University. She received her B.A. in History from Baylor University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She 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, co-editor of Faith and History: A Devotional, and—most recently—the author of the best-selling The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. Dr. Barr writes regularly on The Anxious Bench, a religious history blog on Patheos, and has contributed to Religion News Service, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, Sojourners, Baptist News Global, etc. You can find more about her public writings, interviews, and podcasts on her website