Radical Womanhood

Can you tell I'm on a reading kick? This isn't one of the books I received from Thomas Nelson as part of the Book Review Bloggers program, but I loved it so much that I wrote a review anyway because I'd love to encourage more people to read it. (Thanks to my friend Elisa who initially recommended the book to me!)

Radical Womanhood, by Carolyn McCulley

I thoroughly appreciated this interesting and thought-provoking book. Radical Womanhood gives a great overview of the history of both Christian and feminist thinking regarding the identity and function of women, and how the various shifts in thought have affected modern thinking.

This is an extremely valuable resource for Christian women seeking a biblical understanding of the value and role of women within the home, the church, and society as a whole. Many books on biblical womanhood approach this subject with a practical-application or devotional approach. This book is different in that the bulk of the text concentrates on an historical overview of how our modern culture came to embrace the views of women that dominate much of our thinking.

Distinguishing between the three historical "waves" of feminism, the author draws from the writings of influential leaders of those movements, as well as the church's response. There is humble acknowledgment of the church's failure to respond biblically to some of the complaints brought by feminists seeking to end abuses against women, but careful delineation noting when the feminist cause veered into serious error and charted a course at odds with scripture.

Biblical principles like male headship in the home and the admonition for women to submit to their husbands make many women bristle – even women who do not consider themselves feminists. This book sheds light on both the reasons for this reaction, as well as explaining what those admonitions actually look like within a framework of biblical context. Clearly, christian women are the target audience of this book, and I heartily recommend it for any christian woman. But men also could find this book a valuable resource on understanding the influence of feminism on our culture. Even secular feminists interested in truly understanding the perspective of Christian women who embrace these ideas would greatly benefit from this book.