Jesus Traditions and Masculinities in World Christianity

In: Exchange
Adriaan S. van Klinken University of Leeds United Kingdom

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Peter-Ben Smit Utrecht University, Utrecht & Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam The Netherlands University of Pretoria South-Africa

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This opening article offers an introduction to the theme of this special issue of Exchange: Jesus traditions and masculinities in world Christianity. Highlighting the historical trajectory of feminist theological debates on the maleness of Jesus Christ and its implications for configurations of gender (read: the position of women) in Christian traditions, the article particularly explores two recent developments: first, the critical discussion in academic, theological and ecumenical circles of men and masculinities in contemporary Christian contexts, and second, the growing body of scholarship on the masculinity (or better, masculinities) of Jesus Christ in the New Testament in relation to masculinities in the early Christian era. Building on these debates and this scholarship, the article identifies a new and critical field of inquiry that explores the complex and productive relationships between the ambiguous and unstable masculinity/ies of Jesus Christ and the multiple and changing masculinities that are found today in the local contexts of an increasingly diverse global Christianity.

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