The Church Impotent: The Feminization
of Christianity

by Leon J. Podles


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Introduction and Chapter One Chapter Seven
Chapter Two Chapter Eight
Chapter Three Chapter Nine
Chapter Four Chapter Ten
Chapter Five Notes and Bibliography
Chapter Six    

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St. Anthony Messenger
"This groundbreaking book should be read by everyone concerned about the future of Christianity."


National Catholic Reporter
"This volume will certainly invite an important discussion."


After documenting the highly feminized state of Western Christianity, Dr. Podles identifies the masculine traits that once characterized the Christian life but are now commonly considered incompatible with it. In an original and challenging account, he traces this feminization to three contemporaneous medieval sources: the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the rise of scholasticism, and the expansion of female monasticism. He contends that though masculinity has been marginalized within Christianity, it cannot be expunged from human society. If detached from Christianity, it reappears as a substitute religion, with unwholesome and even horrific consequences. The church, too, is diminished by its emasculation. Its spirituality becomes individualistic and erotic, tending toward universalism and quietism. In his concluding assessment of the future of men in the church, Dr. Podles examines three aspects of Christianity-initiation, struggle, and fraternal love-through which its virility might be restored.

In the otherwise stale and overworked field of "gender studies," The Church Impotent is the only book to confront the lopsidedly feminine cast of modern Christianity with a profound analysis of its historical and sociological roots. Dr. Podles presents the fruit of his meticulous scholarship in a lucid and readable style thoroughly accessible to the non-specialist.


The publication of this book was made possible by the Crossland Foundation. Visit the Crossland Foundation website for more information.


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