Living on the Boundaries: Evangelical Women, Feminism and the Theological Academy, By Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Christine D. Pohl
Living on the Boundaries
  • Length: 203 pages
  • Published: October 06, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2665
  • ISBN: 9780830826650

*affiliate partner

"Both evangelicalism and feminism are controversial movements that provoke complex loyalties and ambivalence within the church and the world at large. In spite of a considerable degree of shared history, they are quite often defined against each other. Most of the rhetoric from and about the movements assumes that there are few connections and little overlap, and that individuals might locate themselves within one or the other, but not within both. Yet some evangelical women in the academy find themselves living on the boundary between feminism and evangelicalism, or on the boundaries between the multiple forms of both feminism and evangelicalism."--from the first chapter

What happens when evangelicalism meets feminism?

In their own biblical and theological training, Nicola Creegan and Christine Pohl have each lived at the intersection of these two movements They now both teach in Christian institutions of higher education where others follow along a similar pathway. They have a story to tell about their experience along with those of ninety other women they surveyed who have lived on the boundary between evangelicalism and feminism. They explore what it was like for evangelical women who pursued doctorates in biblical and theological studies. What were their experiences as they taught and wrote, were mentored and became mentors? What are the theological issues they faced, and how did they respond? How have they negotiated professional, family and church commitments? This well-informed, multidimensional and sensitive narrative of women's experience will be illuminating for anyone involved in the academic theological world.

"By not listening with care to the insights of women who take both evangelical identity and feminist concerns seriously, we evangelicals have not only caused much pain--we have failed to face some important theological challenges. This wonderful book is not only a legitimate plea for healing; it also points the way to new levels of theological integrity."

Richard J. Mouw, president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"If you have Manichean tendencies--as many traditional evangelicals and mainstream feminists equally do--you will not like this book, since there are no clear villains, heroes or heroines in Living on the Boundaries. Instead we have been given a perceptive look, both empirically and theoretically grounded, at the challenging yet fruitful space inhabited by the first generation of evangelical feminists to study and pursue vocations in the theological academy. The result is an astute, timely and compassionate analysis that remains passionately Christian."

Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, author of My Brother's Keeper and Gender Grace

"Living on the Boundaries is a fascinating combination of women's experience and sound research. The authors have gathered together a plethora of stories from women who have at one time or another understood themselves to be 'evangelicals' but who also have done doctoral work in theology. This group, by definition, challenges many of the unwritten or explicit assumptions about women's voices in the church and their authority to teach. Pohl and Creegan not only do a fine job of relaying the variegated narrative, they do it in a balanced and nuanced way. Finally, they add to their astute analysis of these stories a careful scholarly discussion of the theological and ecclesiological issues involved in the current evangelical world and its response to women today. They have tapped into an important but neglected slice of the contemporary Christian world in North America."

Cynthia S. W. Crysdale, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, School of Theology and Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America

"Christine Pohl and Nicola Hoggard Creegan have drawn back the curtain on the unique struggles and complex challenges faced by evangelical women in the academy. In so doing they have raised some of the most pressing questions for the future of evangelical theology and education as it relates to the church and contemporary culture. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, this is one of the most significant books of the year and should be read carefully by all who are concerned with the future of evangelical life, thought and witness."

John R. Franke, professor of theology, Biblical Theological Seminary

"Being smart, evangelical and female can be a tricky combination, but the wise and passionate women described in this book demonstrate the creative potential of life pursued outside the established pathways of today's academic and religious worlds. Pohl and Creegan's sensitive yet often unsparing accounts of women's experience in evangelical seminaries is essential reading for administrators, teachers and church leaders--and any smart evangelical female who is thinking about going on to graduate school."

Margaret Bendroth, author of Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present

Recommend that all evangelicals in biblical and theological scholarship, whether female or male, students or professors, read Living on the Boundaries.

Bonnie L. Pattison for Calvin Theological Journal, November 2007


1. Where Are the Good Women: Revised Maps for a Changing Terrain
2. The Voices and the Stories: Staying and Leaving
3. Gender Issues and Contemporary Evangelicalism: Critical Reflections from the Inside
4. Passing the Table, Finding a Voice: Students, Mentors and Teaching
5. Shaping the Good Woman: Call, Church and Community
6. Evangelical and Feminist Maps: Redefining the Theological Interior
7. Continuing the Theological Dialogue: Finding a Home for Eve
8. Conclusion


You May Also Like

Nicola Hoggard Creegan

Nicola Hoggard Creegan (MPhil, PhD, Drew University) is lecturer in theology at the Bible College of New Zealand in Auckland, New Zealand.

Christine D. Pohl

Christine D. Pohl (1950-2023) (PhD, Emory University) was professor of social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She is the author of Living on the Boundaries.