The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities

The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities

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, christian, r-2020, social-sciences, academic, nonfiction, christian-living, 2020, 2019, religious-studies, Nonfiction, Religion, History, Audiobook, Christian, Feminism, Womens

From the New York Times bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, a fascinating look at the world of Christian women celebrities

Since the 1970s, an important new figure has appeared on the center stage of American evangelicalism--the celebrity preacher's wife. Although most evangelical traditions bar women from ordained ministry, many women have carved out unofficial positions of power in their husbands' spiritual empires or their own ministries. The biggest stars--such as Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and Victoria Osteen--write bestselling books, grab high ratings on Christian television, and even preach. In this engaging book, Kate Bowler, an acclaimed historian of religion and the author of the bestselling memoir Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, offers a sympathetic and revealing portrait of megachurch women celebrities, showing how they must balance the demands of celebrity culture and conservative, male-dominated faiths.

Whether standing alone or next to their husbands, the leading women of megaministry play many parts: the preacher, the homemaker, the talent, the counselor, and the beauty. Boxed in by the high expectations of modern Christian womanhood, they follow and occasionally subvert the visible and invisible rules that govern the lives of evangelical women, earning handsome rewards or incurring harsh penalties. They must be pretty, but not immodest; exemplary, but not fake; vulnerable to sin, but not deviant. And black celebrity preachers' wives carry a special burden of respectability. But despite their influence and wealth, these women are denied the most important symbol of spiritual power--the pulpit.

The story of women who most often started off as somebody's wife and ended up as everyone's almost-pastor, The Preacher's Wife is a compelling account of women's search for spiritual authority in the age of celebrity.

Title:The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities
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    The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities Reviews

  • Gretchen Rubin

    A thought-provoking look at celebrity evangelical women. Elizabeth and I are going to interview Kate Bowler for the Happier podcast, and while her other book (see below) is more directly related to ha...

  • Laura

    My review appears at Fathom MagIn 2002 Rosaline Wiseman published a book decoding the secret hierarchy of teenage girls. It became a popular read among parents because Wiseman’s research consisted o...

  • Bronwyn Lea

    Well written, brilliantly researched, and more than a little uncomfortable to read - Bowler has named much of the confusing terrain surrounding christian women leaders and cast light on its shadowy pa...

  • Bethany

    Fantastic. Relevant. At times heartbreaking. Impeccably researched. When women have a glass ceiling created by religious structures, they get creative: there’s no absence of power and influence, it...

  • Jessica

    In The Preacher's Wife Kate Bowler explores how women in evangelical churches and circles have managed to carve out their own place in the world of the evangelical celebrity. While most evangelical ch...

  • Laura Robinson

    Kate Bowler is so cool....

  • Janay Boyer

    Fascinating. Love Kate Bowler's work. ...

  • Melody Schwarting

    The sheer level of research that Kate Bowler does astonishes me. She's venturing into fields that are not yet well-documented by other historians; she and Joshua Young have staggering amounts of data ...

  • Sarah

    So much of this book is what I have lived and experienced growing up in American evangelical and Pentecostal culture in the 1990’s. It was uncomfortable for me to remember in many parts, and yet the...

  • Robert D. Cornwall

    I grew up in the Episcopal Church, which back then didn't ordain women (I had moved on right before they changed the rules), and then joined a church that was part of a denomination founded by a woman...