(9:30 a.m. Pacific / 11:30 a.m. central / 12:30 p.m. eastern)
Melodie Roschman will present "'The C.S. Lewis of Our Time?': The Work & Legacy of Rachel Held Evans" for the Choir Zoom Sabbath School at Pacific Union College on Saturday, May 27.
Small-town journalist and evangelical theologian’s daughter Rachel Held Evans began blogging about gender, faith, and doubt in 2007, soon finding an audience of enthusiastic readers. Despite a lack of formal theological education, she went on to write five books, organize two major Christian conferences, and promote the work of numerous marginalized writers and theologians. When she died suddenly in 2019 at the age of 37, her friends and admirers were left to grapple with their loss as well as her legacy. Some agreed with The Christian Century’s Jason Byassee, who dubbed her “the most influential mainline theologian of her generation, the C. S. Lewis of her time.” Others took the position of historian Elesha Coffman, who claimed that “there is no precedent for an American evangelical woman, however deserving, to secure such a prominent place.” In this talk, I will outline Held Evans’s career and the evolution of her thought as well as considering the impact and legacy of her theological and relational work. What made her such an influential voice in progressive Christian circles—and such a threatening one for conservatives? How will the history of American Christianity remember her?
Melodie Roschman is a writer, researcher, and public educator who studies contemporary American Christianity, gender, and popular culture. She has a PhD in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2022), where she wrote her dissertation: "Identity, Counternarrative, and Community in Progressive Christian Women's Memoir." She has a MA in English from McMaster University (2016) and is a proud graduate of the J. N. Andrews Honors program at Andrews University, where she earned a BA in English and Journalism (2015) and served for two years as a controversial editor-in-chief of The Student Movement. She now works as a communications officer in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, but remains active as an independent scholar. She lives in Guelph, ON, with her husband Taylor and cat Minnie, where she enjoys cooking, knitting, and DIY projects.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/