Make your own clothes, don't touch your husband and sleep outside: How one woman spent a year living according to the BibleRachel Held Evans has written a book about following the Bible's rules for menstruating women
Leviticus Chapters 15 to 18 holds a theory that women on their periods are untouchable
22:36 GMT, 15 October 2012
An evangelical blogger who spent one year following all of the Bible’s instructions for women, from making her own clothes to 'submitting' to her husband, has now written a book about her experience.
Rachel Held Evans’ upcoming book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, chronicles her 12 month attempt to obey the Bible's
commandments for menstruating women in Leviticus Chapters 15 to 18, a
passage full of rules stemming from the theory that women on their periods are untouchable.
The Tennessee-based writer, 31, stayed home from church, carried around a seat cushion to avoid sitting on chairs outside her home, abstained from sex and even touching her husband, grew her hair out and slept in a tent once a month.
Evangelical blogger: Rachel Held Evans spent 12 months following all of the Bible's instructions for women
Her project-turned-book follows all the Bible's instructions for women as precisely as possible, taking on powerful theological questions, gender issues, and the possible future of the church.
The Bible gives hundreds of rules for
women, both explicit and implied, in the Old Testament and the New.
For example, women should
dress modestly, submit to their husbands, and
remove themselves from their communities while menstruating.
Using her book's platform, Mrs Evans aims to challenge other
evangelical leaders, while vocally advocating the increase
of women within church leadership – another controversial
subject in her world which features ongoing debate over whether husbands are the masters of their wives.
Mrs Evans also writes a namesake blog that draws thousands of highly engaged evangelical readers, which she launched in 2008 to promote her first book, a memoir that tip-toed around faith and fundamentalism.
Controversy: Rachel Held Evans' book chronicles her year-long attempt to obey the Bible's commandments for menstruating women
Her yet-to-be-released book has already gained a following, with nearly 100,000 readers visiting her blog monthly.
However, despite the book's popularity, she has revealed that one of the biggest Christian bookstore chains in the country, LifeWay, has chosen not to carry the book because of its use of the word 'vagina'.
When Mrs Evans mentioned on her blog that her editor suggested she remove the word vagina from the book’s manuscript to appease the Christian bookstore, her readers were outraged.
A petition on Amazon called Put the word ‘vagina’ back into
Rachel's book! was started, and one fan made Team Vagina T-shirts.
She told Slate: 'Writers adjust our content to fit this very sanitized, very strict conservative mold, which means we’re not producing the best writing or the best books we can produce.
'Everyone bends over backward to meet these demands.'
But with such a large show of public support, Mrs Evans decided to leave the word vagina in her book and face the consequences.