A woman is not subject to a man

BAlison Barr has done everything you think a good Christian should do. She took care of her family, helped others, and learned more and more about the Bible. But in her church, Texas Baptist congregants, incidents piled up that troubled her: priests called for the subordination of women.

Barr had no problem with that for a long time, and one day she was no longer allowed to teach Sunday school due to teenage boys. Her husband was a young chaplain, but was fired when he questioned the strict division of roles between men and women. The historian, who teaches at Baylor Christian University in Waco, Texas, felt challenged. She wanted to prove that her church was wrong. The result was a book on the role of women in the Christian church, which provoked angry reactions from many Christians and evangelicals. It was dubbed “The Making of Biblical Femininity” and became a bestseller. Barr and her husband changed churches, became a priest again, and Barr receives hundreds of emails each month from evangelical women seeking a new path since then.

In her book, she attacks a core belief of evangelical Christians: “complementarity” is what religious people in the United States call the view that men and women are fundamentally different and have “complementary” strengths and weaknesses that in turn define their social roles. The woman must support the man and take on a wide range of caring tasks – also within the congregation, where she must be denied the position of patron.


Fearless Fight for More Equality in Her Church: Historian Beth Alison Barr
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BILD: Beth Alison Barr

In the book Barr looks at the reasons for this situation and wants to show that it arose from the Bible with less social power relations. She said in an interview that the book is aimed at evangelicals themselves – which is why she often argues within the framework of religious reasoning.

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