Rape Culture in Sermons on Divorce

  • Valerie Hobbs
Part of the Religion and Radicalism book series (RERA)


In this chapter, Valerie Hobbs uses a critical discourse framework to study the violence implicit within evangelical Christian sermons on divorce. Her work in this chapter extends research on intimate partner violence by focusing on the construction of discourses about violence in 31 popular sermons on divorce, which either compromise or espouse efforts to combat violence against women. Through close analysis of these sermons, she notes that a significant number of pastors use euphemism for violence, frequently identify divorce (rather than spousal abuse) as an act of violence, and often appeal to biblical or religious authority to justify their requirement that women stay with violent men. In light of the role sermons play in cultivating problematic attitudes towards gender violence, Hobbs argues that these findings indicate a need for members of religious communities to examine closely the ways their own discourses promote rape culture.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Hobbs
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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