Andiron Lecture Series - When God is Father: The Unjust Theology of the Evangelical Orphan Care Movement

Add to My Calendar

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

4:00 p.m.

Room 252, Ridgway University Center, Eykamp Hall, University of Evansville Campus, 1800 Lincoln Ave, Evansville, IN

Adoption and foster care have become especially popular over the past decade within evangelical Christian circles, as evidenced by the establishment and growing popularity of Orphan Sunday and by the extensive promotion of adoption by evangelical religious groups, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family. This call to adopt or foster is not fundamentally about providing options for infertile couples or promoting humanitarianism; rather, evangelicals draw on the Bible and Christian theology to frame adoption and foster care as a missionary activity that both symbolizes and accomplishes the salvific message of the Gospel.

The patriarchal theology behind the framework privileges the interests of the male “father” god over those of the birth mother. The resulting Christian rhetoric empowers the perspective of the adoptive parents by aligning them with God as pater familias while rendering the birth mother invisible and theologically irrelevant. God the Father’s "heart for adoption" thus promotes an Evangelical Orphan Care Movement that allows the desires of wealthy, privileged (and Christian) members of society to take precedence over the needs, wishes, and interests of vulnerable women.

A social gathering with beverages begins at 3:45 p.m.

Valerie A. Stein is an associate professor of religion and is chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Evansville. She has been at UE since 2002. She holds a ThD from Harvard University in Hebrew Bible / Old Testament. Her teaching and research interests focus on the intersection of religion and culture. Much of her work has centered on the history of biblical interpretation, particularly examining the ways in which the biblical text has functioned to marginalize or oppress certain groups. She uses social identities such as race, religion, and gender as lenses through which to critically engage religion as a structural force in both contemporary society and throughout history.

For further information, call Annette Parks at 812-488-1070 or the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences at 812-488-2589.

Share this article:

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Email Icon Google Icon

Office Phone:
812-488-2236

Office Email:
uerelations@evansville.edu

Office Location:
Room 100, Sampson Hall