Moving beyond stereotypes of manliness and Christian identity, sixteen men discuss progressive new identities, roles, and attitudes for Christian men. As pastoral theologians, they offer keen observations of and prophetic witnesses to the core issues, deepest wounds, and greatest potentials for men today from all backgrounds. 282 pages, softcover from Fortress.
Sixteen men attempt to lay out what it means to be an adult male Christian. The authors move beyond old stereotypes of manliness and Christian identity to chart new identities, roles, and attitudes. They include men who are deeply in the Christian church and men barely in the church, straight and gay men, white men and African Americans, Protestant and Catholic, younger and older.
Although feminism has been a dominant force in shaping church polity, doctrine
and theology over the past 30 years, a growing men's movement in the churches
(Promise Keepers being its most visible outgrowth) has sought to recover an
authentic male spirituality. The 16 writers in this volume represent various
facets of these attempts to chart what it means to be a man in the church in
the 21st century. The contributors explore a number of issues, ranging from
spirituality and mental health to sexuality, relationships and community. For
example, Mark Muesse (religious studies, Rhodes College) suggests that men
incorporate Buddhist meditation into their spiritual practice as they seek
wholeness. Michael Battle (black church studies, Duke) explores the ways that
the African concept of Ubuntu might help men understand the importance of
interdependence and relationships. Other writers examine, among other things,
the Christian man's role in providing healing as partners of women who were
sexually abused as children, male spirituality and its influence on male
health crises, and the effects of pre- and post-retirement masculinities. Most
of these essays are academic in tone all but three of the contributors are
professors and the prose is often filled with jargon. At times, reading these
essays is like overhearing these men talking to themselves: what they have to
say is interesting and important to them, but it has little appeal to the
larger theological world. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.