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Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,369 ratings  ·  233 reviews
Kathryn Joyce's fascinating introduction to the world of the patriarchy movement and Quiverfull families examines the twenty-first-century women and men who proclaim self-sacrifice and submission as model virtues of womanhood—and as modes of warfare on behalf of Christ. Here, women live within stringently enforced doctrines of wifely submission and male headship, and live ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
"Can you call your husband 'Lord'? If the answer is no, you shouldn't get married."

Holy mackerel! Where do I even begin?

This is one of those books where I started writing down every sentence that pissed me off, but had to stop because I was using too much paper.

The movement, in case you've never heard of the Quiverfull, is a conservative Christian fundamentalist faction that stresses the necessity of building large family dynasties, generations of families with six, eight, ten or more childr
Tamora Pierce
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A very clear, readable book about the rise of separatist Christianist movements which emphasize wifely submission to the husband as the wife's way to gain eternal glory, the husband's leadership as family priest, and the rearing of large families as gifts to God and a way to take the world back from gays, feminists, and liberals. Without pretending to be a believer, Kathryn Joyce has met with and attended meetings of many of these small, fundamental American Christianist sects (which are beginni ...more
This book was enlightening, to the point of actually being terrifying. It actually scared me more then any horror movie I've ever seen. The author doesn't put much of herself in this book, she just lets those who live this frightening lifestyle talk. And talk they do.

I wasn't surprised by much in this book, not the acceptance that domestic violence is always the woman's fault, not the casual racism, not the creepy incestuous father-daughter relationship. But it was almost overwhelming to see it
Apr 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to learning more about the Quiverfull movement and the patriarchical structure that supports it. It is the opposite of everything that I believe in so reading this was pretty much a "know your enemies" sort of thing...

I found this book to be very academic and not quite what I expected. For a movement that professes to have tens of thousands of followers, it was very light on 1st person accounts. When she finally does interview a woman in the movement the book become
I have a friend who can't stand the Duggar family. You know the family I'm talking about? The one with 19+ children...and counting. They have been featured on The Learning Channel giving us all a glimpse into their unusual lives. My friend is disgusted by them. She said so. I have never really understood her animosity towards them. After all, they're not hurting anybody. Why not live and let live? Why judge so harshly? And anyway isn't it all sort of sweet and wholesome?

Well, after reading Quive
Lynn Joshua
I have been part of the homeschooling movement since the early 80s and am familiar with every name in this book. I have watched over the years in dismay as good principles have often been taken out of balance and some teachings have become extreme and oppressive. I was really hoping to read an in-depth critique of the Patriarchy movement from an insider. It's a bit difficult to read even a much-needed criticism from someone who thinks all religious believers are backward and ignorant. She doesn' ...more
Adam Omelianchuk
Kathryn Joyce’s Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement is an expose of sorts on a curious theological trajectory among conservative Protestants who seem to believe that raising large families–with the man as the head of the household–is the means for taking America back to its Christian roots. As an Christian who finds any theological justification for hierarchical gender roles to be mistaken, I was curious to see what Joyce, an outsider from a secular persuasion, would have to say ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
First of all, I made the mistake of not reading very far into the description of this book. I saw Quiverfull pop up a few places on the internet and it sparked my interest. My church is anti-abortion but does not have a clear stance on birth control.

Well… the book is more about the subtitle than the title. It is titled Quiverfull but doesn’t spend much time analyzing the Quiverfull movement. Instead, it focuses on the subtitle of the book, “Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.” The first s
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Have you ever attended a Christian church service and wondered why the gender imbalance (mostly women?) So have several Evangelical pastors and - voila - a marketing scheme to bring men into church by giving them ultimate power and a 1950s family is created.

Kathryn Joyce, a secular feminist, gives a balanced view into the lives of families who have chosen to be "quiverfull" - having as many children as they biologically are able (cf The Duggars on television.)

The economic, emotional, and financi
Sarah Kathleen
I learned SO MUCH about Quiverfull from this book and IT IS ALL TERRIFYING. I first heard about Quiverfull because of the Duggars. I saw their show for the first time, and looked them up on Wikipedia. It all spread from there, as so many things do. Ever since then, I thought the Duggar women were adorably ignorant. I would watch their show ALL the time and just be like "oh, isn't that cute? They're being oppressed and they don't even realize it! One of those girls is totally going to rebel and w ...more
Melody Schwarting
Hoo boy. Where to start with this review? Perhaps I should first explain that I grew up home schooled, fundamentalist-adjacent but not fundamentalist. That's where my interest with this book began: I knew Quiverfull families, and was aware of the sect forming within home schooling that leaned away from college and toward homesteading (my dad worked at a university, so it was clear to me where my family stood). It's a movement I've followed on the sidelines, but with which I've never had direct i ...more
Kayt O'Bibliophile
While it wouldn't make as eyecatching a title, this is less "Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement" as it is "Poking My Nose In a Few Places Related To the Christian Patriarchy Movement." I think that's what you expect, though.

The problem is that the book wavers between focusing on a few, big names and organizations, and trying to give an overview of a movement that has as many variations as, well, every other thing ever.

What rubbed me the wrong way was how the language used often equated th
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology, spiritual
This book ties together a lot of small threads I've been concerned about for the last decade or so. I've seen friends and family members dip in and out of various forms of fundamentalism, patriarchy, and Quiverfull ideology, and as someone on a different axis of spirituality and religion entirely, I've tried to read up and understand where these ideas come from and what the ultimate vision is for this lifestyle.

Quiverfull is chilling. The accounts from the women she interviews seem hollow and i
This book was fascinating but an emotionally exhausting read. I grew up in a family which, while not technically Quiverfull, held very similar beliefs. I am very familiar with a lot of the names, organizations, and publications mentioned in this book, and was raised to believe many of the same things. So when I say this book is upsetting, it's because while I read it I relived certain moments of my childhood that I thought I had moved past. Apparently I haven't. ...more
Ana Mardoll
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Quiverfull / 978-0-8070-1073-0

I consider myself to be a homeschooling success story, as I was homeschooled for several formative years of my education, and now happily hold two college degrees and a good job - and indeed, I am fully open to the possibility of homeschooling my own hypothetical children. Going into "Quiverfull", I held some concerns that author Kathryn Joyce might fail to clarify that the type of people her research centers on - many of whom "homeschool" (see note below) - are NOT
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where to start?

This book is an eye-opener! The book concentrates on the "quiverfull" movement among fundamentalist Christians, but places it in the context of a larger movement that includes systematic mysogyny within the family, an anti-tax/anti-government philosophy, disdain for individual rights, especially for women, the anti-contraception movement, eugenic and racist thinking and teachings, revisionist history (i.e., the Native Americans were the oppressors), and anti-intellectualism.

Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by the title of this book. I read several reviews, both pro and con, and thus I had to read it for myself, keeping an open mind. First, let me state my position. I sit squarely on the fence, barbed wire notwithstanding. After reading this book, I am even more ambivalent.
In a nutshell, patriarchy is a branch of the home schooling movement and a twig of evangelical churches. Patriarchy is by definition the fundamental belief that the man is head over his wife and Christ is the he
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read this year. I first became interested in Quiverfulls after researching the Duggers, a Christian family who has a reality show on Lifetime called 18 Kids and Counting. I was curious about their background and how they came to have so many children, and came across this movement to build God’s army.

Joyce explores the world of the Christian Patriarchy Movement, in which women are cons
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not perfect, but Ms Joyce actually does a decent job of handling this. As someone who grew up with a milder form of this, I recognized the conservatism, the sexism, and the justifications for it all. I recognized it in some of my friends and colleagues, certainly in myself--more mildly--when I was in high school. Though, at this point, the book is preaching to the choir, it was still a bit shocking to see how far some people take this evangelical patriarchy, especially when I see how negatively ...more
Leah Lucci
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hello, good sir -- I have a riddle:

How do you make sure your religion is the biggest and most powerful?

You make lots of babies and train them to be that religion.

You make sure that your wives skip college and stay home to pump out and raise those babies. You home school so they can't get exposed to outside ("feminist") influences.

You maintain a patriarchy to keep the women and children in line. If they fail to submit and you punish them, it is their own fault. It is never yours.

You don't ca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An eye-opening overview of the prevalence of woman-hating ideas among right-wing Christians. Patriarchal theology keeps women in sexual and domestic slavery, not only in the fringe "quiverfull" movement itself but among followers of evangelical superstars like Mark Driscoll and John Piper. Joyce's writing style is plain and journalistic, and could have used some editing of run-on sentences. But she does a great job showing how disparate sects are united by a rape culture and a racism-tinged anxi ...more
Savannah Preston
I have NOOO problems with people having a REASONABLE amount of children within their means. I don't care. But who are you to dictate my reproductive decisions because you're some right wing Christian bigot who's daughters call him lord? Jump out my uterus and concern yourself with calcium depletion at 40 because you let god give you 10-15 kids

Btw I going to go take a shower to rinse this book off me and praise the gods for my IUD
Jessica Valenti
Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Joyce's article on the Quiverfull movement and so far the book isn't disappointing either. ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce has done an impressive amount of research for this intelligently-written look at a sect of Christian belief of which most mainstream people remain unaware.

Adherents to the “Quiverfull” belief system shun all forms of family planning and seek to birth as many children as possible (think the Duggars), sometimes suffering serious health and financial problems as a result. These beliefs go hand-in-hand with ideas about the subservience of women; the idea that girls and women should not aspir
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kathryn Joyce’s Quiverfull makes clear the inherent conflict between The Bible and feminism. Although the idea that this conflict exists is still controversial, even among feminists, this is the implicit message of the book.

Quiverfull is divided into three parts: wives, mothers, and daughters. Although the title refers explicitly to the Bible verse that informs a specific view of childbearing, the book looks at Christian Patriarchy as whole. Christian Patriarchy is a way of life defined by a str
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fundamentalist Christians who want to have as many children as they can in order to create an army for Christ that will make the United States a theocracy.Women told to stay with their abusive husbands. A nine-year-old and her family being lauded because even though she can't read (at nine) she knows how to do chores and take care of children, and therefore is a homeschooling success.Girls brainwashed through homeschooling into believing that as women, they are flawed and inherently sinful,that ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Today’s Nonfiction post is on Quiverfull- Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce. It is 258 pages long including an index. The cover has a hand holding arrows on a sky background. The content of this book is told in mostly third person with interviews, articles, and sometimes how the author got in contact with these individuals. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book but it is deeply disturbing because of the content so 16 and up. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

The Quiverfull movement is a subculture to the fundamentalist Christian movement and a component of the Christian patriarchy movement – the former rejects birth control and the later values submission as a cornerstone of Christian womanhood. The most famous adherents of the Quiverfull movement in the United States are the Duggar family from Arkansas with nineteen children and their own show on TLC, although they do not use the term “quiverfull”. In this culture, women live within stringently enf ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to understand what this christian patriarchy thing is all about
having been raised atheist, i am finally starting to get curious about other people's religions now that i am just about to turn 30. not because i am interested in finding religion myself, but because i am finally starting to open my eyes to the fact that religion is behind a lot of the fucked up shit in the world, & i want to know what people believe & how it actually influences their beliefs. especially because i am about to move to kansas, loving cradle of operation rescue. these people say t ...more
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Kathryn Joyce is an author and journalist based in New York City.

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“Godly education means that the sovereignty of God is the baseline fact of all further knowledge, so that even elementary addition problems—two plus two equals four—follow not from any internal logic acknowledgment that Jesus invented and rules over math, that He is in fact "the reason for" math.” 1 likes
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