The Atlantic

Rachel Held Evans, Hero to Christian Misfits

The firebrand writer died unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 37.
Source: Courtesy of HarperCollins / The Atlantic

Rachel Held Evans, a well-known Christian blogger, author, and joyful troublemaker online, died on Saturday from massive brain swelling after being hospitalized for an infection, according to her family. She was 37. Evans leaves behind two little kids, a husband, and four books to her name. Her death has been met with an up-swelling of grief and appreciation from loyal readers, famous pastors who sparred with her, and, especially, young people who saw her as a mentor.

This bevy of tributes is a testament to the distinctive role Evans developed over her decade-and-a-half-long writing career: She was part of a vanguard of progressive-Christian women who fought to change the way Christianityt and . Evans helped forge new space for diverse voices who are denied authority or power in the Christian world—a legacy that will last far beyond her death.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
How Can Congress Authorize War When It Can’t Decide What War Is?
There’s bipartisan agreement that the law governing America’s wars needs an update. There’s also bipartisan agreement that it won’t happen anytime soon.
The Atlantic10 min readPolitics
Elizabeth Warren Has Momentum. Can She Build a Movement?
The senator from Massachusetts is on the verge of turning her campaign into something much larger.
The Atlantic9 min read
They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While, It Worked.
Secular organizers started their own congregations. But to succeed, they need to do a better job of imitating religion.