Trending topics: Exvangelical women’s memoirs

Five new memoirs by women who left evangelicalism

The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church
By Sarah McCammon
St. Martin’s

Of these five memoirs by exvangelical women, the one by Sarah McCammon—an NPR correspondent who was the outlet’s primary reporter on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—offers the most didactic introduction to the exvangelical movement. For the uninitiated, this phenomenon is, according to McCammon, a “loosely organized, largely online movement of people” who share “a theologically and politically conservative Protestant Christian background, and the decision to leave it behind.” As a former evangelical pastor who is all too acquainted with why and how folks leave fundamentalism, the costs of doing so, and the trauma that lingers, I am probably not the target audience for this book. But I highly recommend it to anyone curious about this exodus who has not lived it. McCammon covers a broad terrain, from purity culture to the religious right to Young Earth creationism. She does not delve into the topic of LGBTQ inclusion until chapter 9, but for me this is the emotional core of the book, featuring a blood-
boiling email exchange between McCammon and her mother. The overview the book offers is guided by McCammon’s own journey and bolstered by snippets of interviews with sociologists, historians, adult children of evangelical pastors, and trauma therapists.

Nice Churchy Patriarchy: Reclaiming Women’s Humanity from Evangelicalism
By Liz Cooledge Jenkins