by Dawn Llewellyn
from Modern Believing Vol 60:2 - April 2019

Abstract

Voluntary childlessness is the deliberate choice not to have children. In this paper, I draw on qualitative interviews, to discuss the experiences of electively childless women in contemporary Christianity. In particular, choosing not to have children is sometimes considered too individualistic and ‘selfish’, because it does not adhere to the presentation of motherhood as the realisation of women’s Christian identity. However, this paper suggests that some women understand that their calling and self-offering is to care, serve, teach, and minister, thus indicating that a life electively without children is a legitimate vocation.

Key words

CHRISTIANITY, NARRATIVE RESEARCH, PRONATALISM, RELIGIOUS INDIVIDUALISM, VOLUNTARY CHILDLESSNESS


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