This article investigates the seeming dissonance between Phoebe Palmer's (1807–74) role as a charismatic leader who emphasized an unmediated, literalist approach to the Bible and her adoption of complex historical-critical arguments to defend female preaching. Drawing on Max Weber's concept of charisma, the article traces Palmer's performance as a pronounced biblicist before discussing her use of historical-contextual and linguistic arguments in response to male opposition to her ministry. The article presents Palmer as an innovative theologian and evangelist who negotiated male authority by strategically employing critical scholarship to establish ‘female prophesying’ as a necessary means to further the cause of holiness.

You do not currently have access to this content.