Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life provides a sociological and historical analysis of gender, family, and work among evangelical Protestants. In this innovative study, Sally Gallagher traces two lines of gender ideals—one of husbands’ authority and leadership, the other of mutuality and partnership in marriage—from the Puritans to the Promise Keepers into the lives of ordinary evangelicals today. Rather than simply reacting against or accommodating themselves to “secular society,” Gallagher argues that both traditional and egalitarian evangelicals draw on longstanding beliefs about gender, human nature, and the person of God.
The author bases her arguments on an analysis of evangelical family advice literature, data from a large national survey and personal interviews with over 300 evangelicals nationwide. No other work in this area draws on such a range of data and methodological resources. Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life establishes a standard for future research by locating the sources, strategies, and meaning of gender within evangelical Protestantism.