Faithful Dissent: The Feminist Counterpublic on the Margins of Evangelicalism

“Digital forms of media, including social media, in the twenty-first century have provided a boon to post-evangelical women in asserting leadership and agency outside the constraints of denominations and institutions, evangelical religious identity, and conservative political ideologies. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Kelsey Hanson Woodruff Harvard University Contact Me

About this dissertation fellowship

This historical and ethnographic study of digital communities of post-evangelical feminists demonstrates the promises and limitations of new media for religious people in the United States in the twenty-first century. From the 2000s to today, women authors and their readers have co-created religious communities in and through books, social media, podcasts, digital newsletters, and platforms. Post-evangelical feminists who have disidentified with conservative white evangelicalism because of their progressive theologies and political ideologies create communities of resistance and contestation. Rejecting the hegemonic views of gender, race, and sexuality that permeate the political Religious Right and white evangelical institutions, this group attempts to construct a progressive form of Christianity that values the “image of God” in all people. Based on digital materials, 75 ethnographic interviews, and in-person and digital participant-observation, this study argues that post-evangelical feminists form a digital counterpublic that contests white evangelicalism from the margins. This dissertation contributes to the historical understanding of the religious left, of evangelicalism in the United States, of women’s Christian leadership, and of the role of digital media in twenty-first century religious traditions.