Ashland University Religion Department to Host Public Lecture

Ashland University Religion Department to Host Public Lecture

9/17/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Religion Department will host a lecture by Emily McGowin titled “Praying for More: Mothers and Motherhood in the American Quiverfull Movement.” The lecture, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics, is free and open to the public.

The Quiverfull movement is an evangelical subculture that has emerged within the Christian homeschooling movement over the past 35 years. Featured in the TLC TV show “19 Kids and Counting,Quiverfull families 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, McGowin 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, McGowin will reflect on what, if anything, Quiverfull mothers have to teach students of Christian theology.

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. Her work has been 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. She and her husband, Ronnie, who is a minister, have three children.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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