Christian Manliness, a Paradox of Modernity: Men and Religion in a Northern-European Context, 1840 to 1940

Project: Research

Layman's description

Religious issues have been generally ignored in research on masculinity in the modern period. An unspoken assumption has been that religion was a private matter connected to the female sphere, and therefore lacking relevance to men’s domain. But how then to explain the large groups of men committed to Christian faith? It was to answer this question that our project was set in train.

Until recently religious issues have been generally ignored in the rapidly expanding field of men’s history, particularly in research on masculinity in the modern period. There has often been an unspoken assumption that religion was a private matter connected to the home and the female sphere, and therefore lacking relevance to the public life of men’s domain. But was this really the case? How to explain the large groups of men committed to the Church and to the Christian faith?

It was to answer this question that the research project ‘Christian manliness – a paradox of modernity’ was set in train. Its aim is to shed light on the relationship between Christianity and the construction of manliness in Northern Europe in the period 1840 to 1940. One starting point is the theory launched within gender and religious studies of the feminisation of Christianity in the nineteenth century, which runs counter to the religious revitalisation and re-confessionalisation that for other researchers characterises the same period. The feminisation theory holds that religious life became feminised and that men distanced themselves from the church, whereas the confessionalisation theory stresses men’s engagement in the church and religious life.

A conclusion shared by all our studies is that social and missionary engagement on confessional grounds – whether interpreted in terms of a Protestant state church, revivalism, liberal theology, or Catholicism – were key components in the constr
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2004/01/012010/12/31

Participants

Related projects

Henrik Rydell Johnsén

2008/01/012008/12/31

Project: Research

Alexander Maurits

2004/09/012011/12/31

Project: Dissertation

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Related research output

Yvonne Maria Werner, 2016 Oct, Feminisierung oder (Re-)Maskulinisierung der Religion im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert?: Forschungsbeiträge aus Christentum, Judentum und Islam. Sohn-Kronthaler, M. (ed.). Böhlau, p. 52-77

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Yvonne Maria Werner, 2014, Makadam förlag. 348 p. (Centrum för Öresundsstudier ; vol. 33)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Alexander Maurits, 2014, Christian Homes. Religion, Family and Domesticity in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Van Osselaer, T. & Pasture, P. (eds.). KADOC Studies on Religion, Culture and Society, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, p. 52-65

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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