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Book Review – Redeeming the Feminine Soul by Julie Roys

September 13, 2017

Having just started teaching another section of Marriage & Family Life at Prairie Colleges, Julie Roys new book Redeeming the Feminine Soul was a timely arrival. One of the key topics we discuss in this course is what makes a male “masculine” and what makes a woman “feminine”? Is it just their anatomy or is there something deeper in God’s design?

Roys’ shares her journey as a tomboy growing up in evangelical Christian circles and the blessings and challenges of those contexts. With authenticity and vulnerability, she draws on a range of resources – social, psychological, and historical as well as Roman Catholic and “secular” to develop a strong case for the soul of femininity that is biblically consistent and personally and “corporately” (ie for the 21st century church) practice-able. (And it was understandable to this male reader!)

A couple chapters in the middle of the book (Chapter 7 on gender construction and confusion and Chapter 8 on redemptive suffering) seemed to be tangential to the main purpose of her book. While it was clear how they logically connected to the previous chapters, they did not really contribute to her purpose of exploring and explaining the heart of femininity.

However, overall the book is thoughtful and challenging. While one may not agree with all Roys’ advocates for, the arguments and evidence she presents leaves one hard pressed to come to alternate conclusions.

The book does presume some familiarity with biblical ideas and concepts and would make a useful textbook in a course dealing with gender and sexuality issues, especially at a faith-based post-secondary institution. While obviously of direct relevance to female readers, it is accessible and understandable for all.

Note: This book was provided to the author free of charge by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.

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