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Melodie Roschman at CZSS: “‘She Must Be Quiet’: Women, Autobiography, and Authority”

(9:30 a.m. Pacific time)

Choir Zoom Sabbath School at Pacific Union College

Melodie Roschman will present:

In this presentation, I consider the question of testimony—Christian testimony, women’s testimony, and perhaps most importantly, Christian women’s testimony. We will consider the role that testimony plays in the Bible, and how the injunction to testify about one’s faith intersects with Christian traditions that frequently silence women. I trace a thread of autobiography from the Bible to the current day, looking at examples including medieval mysticism, abolitionist narratives, and feminist consciousness-raising. I then focus on the progressive Christian community surrounding the late Rachel Held Evans, which combines testimony with community and shared resistance against dominant narratives of both womanhood and faith. What does it mean to listen to women’s testimony? How do we respond if we are uncomfortable with what they have to say? 

Dr. 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.

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