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‘Every Wife has a Church in her Home’: The Family and the Church in the American ‘Quiverfull’ Movement

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image of Ecclesial Practices

‘Quiverfull’ is shorthand for a religious phenomenon that emerged within the networks of the Christian homeschooling movement in America over the past forty years. Quiverfull names a subculture of evangelical Christians whose lived religion includes three central practices: prolific childbirth, homeschooling, and patriarchy. Based upon two years of ethnographic research among Quiverfull families, the following essay explores the interplay between the family and the church within the subculture. Building on an early argument of Colleen McDannell, it is argued that within the context of the Quiverfull subculture and their particular construction of the family, the constitutive practice of homeschooling results in a transformed ecclesiology. The family functions as a ‘mini-church,’ headed by the father and mother who carry out the work of worship, spiritual formation, and evangelism on their own terms through the practice of homeschooling.

Affiliations: 1: University of Dayton, USA, emcgowin1@udayton.edu

10.1163/22144471-00401004
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/content/journals/10.1163/22144471-00401004
2017-05-17
2018-04-21

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