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Praying for More: Mothers and Motherhood in the American Quiverfull Movement

A public lecture by Emily McGowin sponsored by the Religion Department.

The Quiverfull movement is an ideologically inflected evangelical subculture that has emerged within the Christian homeschooling movement over the past 35 years. Participants are identifiable by a lived religion that is radically family-focused and ordered around three key practices: homeschooling their children, performing the doctrine of male headship, and eschewing all family planning so as to receive all children as a gift. The primary goal of Quiverfull practice is to ensure "multigenerational faithfulness" in their offspring and, in the long term, to transform American culture through a demographic shift. Of course, this particular instantiation of evangelical religion has enormous consequences for women whose bodies and prolific work in the home are central to the Quiverfull way of life. Drawing a year and a half of in-depth interviews with Quiverfull mothers, I will present an overview of the Quiverfull construction of motherhood, focusing on the areas where their discourse evidences tensions and ruptures as it is performed in day to day life. Moreover, I will reflect on what, if anything, Quiverfull mothers have to teach students of Christian theology.

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Emily McGowin is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at the University of Dayton. She has a B.A. in biblical studies from the Criswell College and an M.Div. from Truett Seminary at Baylor University. Emily has had her work published in New Blackfriars and the Baptist History and Heritage Journal. Currently, she is finishing her dissertation on the Quiverfull movement and contemporary theologies of the family with funding from a dissertation year fellowship through UD's Graduate School. Emily is married to Ronnie, a minister, and they have three children.

Start Date: 
Monday, October 13, 2014 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

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