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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 39, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2019

Kristopher Norris
Pages 319-338
DOI: 10.5840/jsce2019102111

Toxic Masculinity and the Quest for Ecclesial Legitimation

This essay analyzes masculinity as an ecclesial strategy for maintaining cultural and political power. It begins by examining the masculine theology promoted by the German Christian Movement that gave religious justification for Nazism’s violence against those who did not conform to their masculine norms. Drawing on conceptions of ‘legitimation crisis’ and masculinities studies, it argues that the masculine theology of the German Christians, predicated on a desire for social and political relevancy, shares a similar logic with current American evangelical masculinity. In conclusion, it turns to Dietrich Bonhoeffer for resources of ecclesial resistance to these masculine temptations for cultural relevancy and political power.

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