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Religious Feminisation, Confessionalism And Re-Masculinisation In Western European Society 1800–1960

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Chapter Summary

Two main concepts when dealing with gender and religion in modern Western society include: the theory of a feminisation of Christianity in the 19th century and the concept of a reconfessionalisation of European society. The feminisation theory implies that religious life became more and more feminine, with men distancing themselves from the churches, whereas the concept of confessionalisation relates to those parts of society that were dominated by men and stresses the engagement of men in church matters and religious life. The discursive feminisation of Christianity went hand in hand with the division into private and public that characterised the rising liberal-bourgeois society. This chapter considers the fundamentally masculine structure of ecclesiastical establishments. The remasculinisation in the wake of confessionalism made it possible for Christian men to compensate for the feminisation of religion, as it offered an arena, where male virtues and powers could be used for religious purposes.

Keywords: Christian men; confessionalism; ecclesiastical associations; religious feminisation; remasculinisation; Western European society



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