Book Review – The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This is a very important book! Combining rigorous academic study with painful personal experiences that challenged her assumptions and pushed her to dig deeper into her research, Beth Allison Barr unpicks the history of the Biblical Manhood and Womanhood movement to show how complementarian theology arose from cultural and historical contexts. Rather than presenting a ‘timeless biblical truth’ as so often argued, it actually was influenced by and promotes patriarchal worldviews that contribute to the oppression of women and even veer dangerously close to heretical theology.

As a feminist theologian and minister in training, this book was essential reading. A few years ago I was writing my MA dissertation on feminist theology, and this book would have been invaluable to me at that time…! Nevermind, though, I am so glad it exists now! And even though it couldn’t help me with my MA, it will certainly be reread in support of my doctoral research into evangelical culture and its effect on women. I have already bought myself a hard copy and I recommend this book to everyone at every opportunity.