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Quiverfull - Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
Author: Kathryn Joyce
Product Code: 1070 ISBN: 978-080701070-9
Binding Information: Cloth 
6 X 9 Inches (US)
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Price: $25.95 In stock.
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A journalist's investigation of a Christian Right movement in which women put their fertility in the service of a patriarchal culture war
In the corners of fundamentalist Christendom across the country, an old ideal of Christian womanhood is being revived. It looks like this: The "biblical" woman wears modest, feminine dress and avoids not only sex but also dating before marriage. She doesn't speak in church, or try to have authority over men. She doesn't work outside the home, but within it she is its tireless center. She is a submissive wife who bolsters her husband in his role as spiritual and earthly leader of the family. She understands that it's her job to keep him sexually satisfied at all times, and that it's her calling as a woman to let those relations result in as many children as God wants to bless her with. She's not the throwback to the fifties summoned in media-stoked "mommy wars" but is a return to something far older.

This Christian patriarchy movement finds its fullest expression in families following what they call the Quiverfull philosophy. Here, in direct and conscious opposition to feminist calls for gender equality and marriage equity, women live within stringently enforced doctrines of wifely submission and male headship. They eschew all contraception in favor of the philosophy of letting God give them as many children as possible-families of twelve or more children that will, they hope, enable them to win the religion and culture wars through demographic means: by reproducing more than other social groups.

Journalist Kathryn Joyce plunged into this world to give readers an intimate view of the patriarchy movement. We meet Nancy Campbell, grandmother to thirty-two and counting, and editor of an internationally distributed magazine that provides guidance for women seeking to be "virtuous" mothers and wives. We are invited into the home of Donna Mauney, an "ex-feminist" homeschooling mom from North Carolina, whose children are more dedicated to the movement than she is. We are also introduced to the aspirations of Doug Phillips, founder of Vision Forum and one of the most influential proponents of the patriarchy movement-aspirations that include a return to the values of sixteenth-century Calvinism, the repeal of women's suffrage, and the cultivation of "virtuous daughterhood": unconditional devotion of a daughter to her father, who serves, quite literally, as her "Lord," until he helps her choose a husband who will then fulfill that role.

Quiverfull takes us into the heart of a movement we ignore at our peril, and offers a fascinating examination of the twenty-first-century women and men who proclaim self-sacrifice and submission as model virtues of womanhood-and as warfare on behalf of Christ.

In the Media:

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the patriarchy movement on Alternet

Read Kathryn Joyce on Quiverfull for

Read an article based on the book in Mother Jones

Read Kathryn Joyce' s article on the Quiverfull movement on

Read Kathryn Joyce' s feature on a former Quiverfull adherent and how she left the movement

Read Kathryn Joyce an essay by Kathryn Joyce on Killing the Buddha

Read an interview with Kathryn Joyce on BuzzFlash

Read Kathryn Joyce's response to her recent "award" by a leader of the Christian Patriarchy

Review   Library Journal - January 1, 2009
“If any religious movement badly needs critiquing, the self-titled Quiverfull movement does, because its Christian patriarchy seeks to reverse the advances in equality women have made in the last 150 years or so. . . . She writes in a readable style and has a respectful approach that will appeal to most readers. She doesn’t hesitate to highlight the social and personal damage caused by the movement to women’s physical and mental health and to large and poor families struggling to survive on one paternal income. . . . Recommended for academic and public collections.”
Review   Publishers' Weekly - January 12, 2009
"Journalist Joyce has conducted a groundbreaking investigation of a little-known movement among Christian evangelicals . . . future historians and journalists will owe Joyce a debt of gratitude for her foray into this still nascent religious group."
Review   The American Prospect - January 5, 2009
"Joyce's keen reporting . . . will prove to be an invaluable resource for understanding the origins of some of [Rick Warren's] comments on gender."
Review   BUST - March 1, 2009
"[E]ngrossing . . . Skillfully reported by journalist Kathryn Joyce, Quiverfull has echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale. Unfortunately, it’s not fiction."
Review   Christianity Today - February 20, 2009
“[I]sightful….The issues Joyce's book raises are fundamental to our identity as human beings, and as Christians. Perhaps they could stand some reexamination.”
Review   bitch - March 1, 2009
“Illuminating and frightening….Joyce’s facility with this difficult material is notable….It would be easy to reduce the members of the Christian Patriarchy movement to a fringe group of hard-right kooks and poke fun at them; Joyce stays respectful.”
Review   Public Eye - March 1, 2009
“[A]n excellent resource… Joyce tracks Quiverfull’s genesis and doctrinal roots to untangle the various strands of this complex patriarchal movement and explain why, in the 21st century, a group that eschews modernity and individualism is gaining ground and adherents. Much has already been written about patriarchal movements, from the Promise Keepers to Jon Krakauer’s bestselling nonfictional account of polygamist fundamentalist Mormons. What is overlooked is the question of what motivates women to willingly participate in movements that require their total submission to men and accompanying loss of autonomy. Joyce has done some hard reporting to answer these questions: embedding herself within several Quiverfull factions, attending their conferences, and in some cases befriending these women. One such woman even named her sixth child after Joyce.”
Review   The Journal of Americans for Religious Liberty - March 19, 2009
"[An] excellent, frightening new book . . . Quiverfull merits wide readership."
Review   Morning Edition - March 26, 2009
"Quiverfull is a small group, probably 10,000 fast-growing families, mainly in the Midwest and South. But they have large ambitions, says Kathryn Joyce, who has written about the movement in her book Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement."
Review - March 26, 2009
"[E]xhaustively researched and fascinating new book . . . Quite refreshing . . . Joyce is breaking truly new ground here."
Review   BuzzFlash - March 10, 2009
"In her book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, journalist Kathryn Joyce approaches Quiverfull followers with deep curiosity and the restraint of a good journalist . . . A very insightful book into what is, I think, a very important movement to watch on the religious right."
Review   St. Louis Post-Dispatch - March 26, 2009
“[I]t feels like an affront to the idea of the inherent dignity of all persons for people to produce babies like they’re creating an army, lumping all children into this one single all-encompassing purpose, rather than allowing each child their God-given right to discern his or her own purpose over the course of a lifetime.”
Review   The Sacramento News & Review - April 9, 2009
“. . . frightening . . . Joyce makes . . . clear that our freedom—to believe what we choose and to practice those beliefs in peace—starts with our bodies, and our right to choose what to do with them is far from secure.”
Review   Mainstream Baptists - March 22, 2009
"This movement, with strong ties to the homeschool movement and to Christian Reconstructionism, takes a spectrum of extreme positions on patriarchal authority within the family and the subjugation of women in society. We talk about their opposition to contraception and touch on the influence this thought wields within the Southern Baptist Convention."
Review By: Sarah Posner,   The American Prospect - April 17, 2009
“Beyond being an indispensable guide to this landscape, Joyce's cultural reporting is the standout of this book, as she travels the country visiting some of the movement's leading lights, entrepreneurs selling their ideal of domesticated, godly bliss.”

"Kathryn Joyce's well-researched book delivers much more than a quiverfull of understanding about this movement that twists religion to justify keeping women barefoot, pregnant, and powerless. It's also a stark reminder why those who value reproductive justice must actively engage in politics and the public debate."
-Gloria Feldt, author of The War on Choice and former president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

"'Prairie muffins,' hayrides, and babies-lots of babies-don't sound like the stuff of fanaticism, but in Quiverfull Kathryn Joyce brings us the news from the most militant frontier of fundamentalism-a 'patriarchy movement' of right-wing women who embrace a caricature of nineteenth-century womanhood as a strategy for culture war. At turns funny, terrifying, and heartbreaking, Quiverfull is a necessary book, an empathetic and brilliant analysis of how this small group of believers shapes mainstream ideas about motherhood, marriage, sex, and gender."
-Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

"The stories Kathryn Joyce tells in Quiverfull are both riveting and deeply disturbing. This important book shines a light on a corner of the Christian right that has taken misogyny to sadomasochistic extremes, and reveals the sexual anxieties so often underlying modern fundamentalism."
-Michelle Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism

"While mainstream America faced the possibility of a female president, a grassroots movement has been quietly organizing to restore patriarchy-and reduce women to the status of slave-like breeders. Kathryn Joyce gives us a first-ever glimpse into the Christian patriarchy movement, and her riveting reporting makes it all the scarier. If you've been feeling complacent about women's status, read this book!"
-Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and This Land is Their Land

"This is a deeply informed, highly nuanced, and exceptionally valuable text for anyone wishing to explore the religious and political currents that produced the Sarah Palin phenomenon. Perhaps the highest praise one could give Quiverfull is that its 'Christian patriarchal' subjects would be hard-pressed not to see themselves as fairly portrayed by the self-described 'secular feminist' who wrote it."
-Garret Keizer, author of Help: The Original Human Dilemma.

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