Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2014-08-08
  • Publisher: Acumen Pub Ltd

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Since the early 1990s there have been various waves of interest in what is often described as masculine spirituality. While diverse, a commonality among these interests has been a concern that spirituality has become too feminine, and that mens experiences of the spiritual are being marginalized. Masculine spirituality is therefore about promoting what it perceives to be authentic masculine characteristics within a spiritual context. By examining the nature of these characteristics, Numen, Old Men argues that masculine spirituality is little more than a thinly veiled patriarchal spirituality. The mythopoetic, evangelical, and to a lesser extent Catholic mens movements all promote a heteropatriarchal spirituality by appealing to neo-Jungian archetypes of a combative and oppressive nature, or understanding mens role as biblically ordained leader of the family. Numen, Old Men then examines Ken Wilbers integral spirituality which aims to honour and transcend both the masculine and feminine, but which privileges the former to the extent where it becomes another masculine spirituality, with all its inherent patriarchal problems. Gay spirituality is then offered as a form of masculine spirituality which to a large degree resists patriarchal tendencies, suggesting a queering of spirituality could be useful for all men, both gay and straight.

Author Biography

Joseph Gelfer is an Honorary Research Associate at the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Australia. He is the founding and current editor of Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Framing Masculine Spiritualityp. 2
Discussion of Termsp. 5
Men's Studies in Religionp. 12
Chapter Outlinep. 16
The Mythopoetic Movement: Getting it Wrong from the Startp. 21
Archetypesp. 23
Wild(er)nessp. 30
Fatherlessnessp. 34
Initiationp. 37
Sam Keen: The Exception to the Rule?p. 41
Conclusionp. 44
The Evangelical Men's Movement: Networking, Violence and Sportp. 48
Promise Keepers: Neither the First nor the Lastp. 50
Evangelical Mythopoeticismp. 52
Christian Men's Networkp. 56
Underpinned by Violencep. 61
The Sport Factorp. 67
Conclusionp. 73
The Catholic Men's Movement: Sacraments and Adorationp. 76
Catholic Mythopoeticismp. 77
The Origins of the Catholic Men's Movement and Ministryp. 84
Patriarchs, Warriors and Sportp. 87
The Uniqueness of Catholic Men's Ministryp. 91
Conclusionp. 97
Integral or Muscular Spirituality?p. 99
An Introduction to Wilber's Integral Theoryp. 102
Ken Wilber and the Problem of Masculine and Femininep. 103
Ken Wilber and the Problem of Patriarchyp. 108
Wilber's Masculinist Stylep. 115
Wilber's Muscular Spiritualityp. 118
A Further Take on Wilberian Masculinismp. 119
Conclusionp. 123
Gay Spirituality: A Way Out for Menp. 126
Popular Gay Spiritualityp. 129
Not So Radical Faeriesp. 136
Gay Theologyp. 140
A Spiritual Queer-For-Allp. 143
Conclusionp. 149
Sexual Difference, Spirituality and Spacep. 152
Sexual Differencep. 153
Sexual Difference and Spiritualityp. 157
Masculine Spirituality and Spacep. 162
Conclusionp. 172
Conclusionp. 175
Archetypesp. 175
Revisioning Patriarchyp. 178
Challenging Authentic Masculinityp. 182
Beyond the Gay Dividep. 186
Constructing a New Relationship Between Men and Spiritualityp. 190
Bibliographyp. 197
Indexp. 217
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