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

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Author(s): Travis Warren Cooper

Journal: Religion and Gender
ISSN 1878-5417

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 108;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: evangelicalism | television | foodways | family and kinship | gendered practices | embodied ritual

ABSTRACT
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 possible 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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