Beth Allison Barr received her B.A. from Baylor University and her M.A. and PhD in Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses primarily on women and gender identity in late medieval England, how the advent of Protestantism affected women in Christianity, and medieval attitudes towards women in sermons across the Reformation era. Beth is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England and is co-editor of The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation. 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. Beth has been very active in service to her discipline—serving as president of two historical societies (the Texas Medieval Association and the Conference on Faith and History), serving on the diversity committee and program committee for the American Society of Church History, serving on the sexual harassment committee for the Sixteenth Century Society and serving as a board member for The Medieval Review (2015) and the Conference on Faith and History since 2013, as well as CFH program chair (2016) and Vice President (2016).
You can follow Beth on Twitter: @bethallisonbarr
Biblical womanhood–the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers–pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn’t biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments. This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history–ancient, medieval, and modern–to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr’s historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women’s roles in the church and help move the conversation forward. Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor’s wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ. – From the Publisher