This article examines evangelical gender paradigms as expressed through a 700 Club cooking segment facilitated by Gordon Robertson, the son of Pat Robertson – founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), The 700 Club, Christian Coalition, and one-time presidential candidate. Several themes converge within this cooking show, including health and nutrition, family ritual, and gender roles. Using the cooking segment as data, I draw on scholarship on body, gender, family and ritual to argue that evangelical discourses are labile in their responses to recent socio-cultural shifts and suggest that ‘Sunday Dinners: Cooking with Gordon’ defies caricatures of evangelical gender formation and signals a shift to soft-patriarchy and quasi-egalitarianism, at least within public, visual discourse. ‘Sunday Dinners’ underscores the centrality of the family in evangelical discourse – even as conceptions of gender are in flux – as it seeks to facilitate everyday rituals via cooking and eating together.
This article documents a complex genealogy of objectivity discourse that has shaped the study of religion in the modern academy. Analyzing data derived from a 2015 survey administered to Big 10, Research 1, and Ivy League religious studies institutions in the United States, the study posits a provisional taxonomy of neutrality language. The debates about positionality and self-disclosure in religion classrooms, as explored in the taxonomy, is evidence of the pervasive epistemic framework of the “Protestant secular.” The article proposes that religious studies, as a hybrid discipline, may address the status of the academy as an agent of the secular state by acknowledging its complicity in regimes of power and engaging in the rigorously critical, robustly ethnographic, and concertedly reflexive study of its own institutions and practices. Rather than removing objectivity discourse from religious studies, the article concludes by arguing for retaining a modified form of objectivist realism as a productive, decolonized ideal.