Saturday, September 20, 2014

Public Lecture on the Quiverfull Movement

Duggar family.quiverfull, n. and adj. ˈkwɪvərˌfʊl : A large number of offspring (with allusion to Psalms 127:5)

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 Quiverfull mothers have to teach students of Christian theology.

Emily 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.