Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Christi Moss

Committee Member

Katherine Hendrix

Committee Member

Gray Matthews

Committee Member

Sarah Potter


This dissertation explores purity discourse through the lens of the ExVangelical movement. Using mixed methods, this inquiry employs critical qualitative research to examine how ExVangelicalism uses the roles of identification, place, and space to critique purity’s oppressive categorizations. In doing so, ExVangelicals represent a theoretical rhetoric of impurities in which purity is continuously excavated and encountered. Based on a queer feminist reading of ExVangelical texts, this dissertation presents three frameworks in which to reorient ExVangelicalism as a post-purity movement. First, through ExVangelicalism, purity is examined through rhetorics of identification, place, and space. Second, as a post-purity movement, ExVangelicals partake in rhetorical excavating and encountering of purity. Third, this excavation and encountering of purity theoretically positions ExVangelicals as embracing a rhetoric of impurities. Through a critical analysis of qualitative interviews, published memoirs, and participant diaries, this research contends that a rhetoric of impurities is a needed response in repositioning the centricity of purity in everyday spaces. By exploring ExVangelical texts from a critical mixed-methods lens, this research recognizes both public and private conceptualizations of purity as space that situates the body as bordered place charting purity/impurities. The final chapter presents ExVangelical’s rhetoric of impurities as a theoretical process needing to examine sites of purity. These include healthism, heteronormativity, white feminism, and the college classroom. As ExVangelicalism strives for impure religiosity that allows the body to be embodied and exist as rhetorical space, this dissertation presents purity discourse—beyond religious doctrines—as needing to be excavated and encountered in effort to construct impure and embodied spaces. In doing so, purity is recognized as a system of colonial classification using the feminine body as bordered place.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access