I discovered Rachel Held Evans when I read about her tragic death earlier this year. A young woman in her thirties, happily married, and mother of two small children, she died suddenly from an allergic reaction to a medication she was given for an infection. In her short life, she published a very popular blog about her faith journey and wrote several very well received books in which she challenges the Christian dogma she learned growing up in an evangelical family and church community.
Evans was a lit. major in college and first worked as a journalist. She eventually wrote a humor column for a newspaper. She brings her wonderful sense of humor to her books as she describes her personal quest for meaning within a Judeo-Christian context. While her style is engaging and light (at times hysterically funny), the content has intellectual integrity and her candor is refreshing.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood is Evans’ response to the resurgence of traditional interpretations of biblical texts. The movement was leading many of her friends to leave careers and assume traditional gender roles in the home. Every month for a year, Evans committed to living out Biblical mandates (interpreted literally) about womanhood and record her experiences. Here are some chapter titles.
- March: Modesty–Hula Hooping With the Amish
- April: Purity–The Worst Time of Year to Go Camping
- December: Obedience–My Husband, My Master
Evans’ book is interspersed with her husband’s journal entries. He was a very good sport as he supported her throughout this project. There are also many black and white snapshots throughout the book that add to the fun. This was a joy to read.