‘Cooking with Gordon’: Food, Health, and the Elasticity of Evangelical Gender Roles (and Belt Sizes) on The 700 Club

In: Religion and Gender
Travis Warren Cooper
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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.

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