Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious by Björn Krondorfer PDF

By Björn Krondorfer

ISBN-10: 0804768994

ISBN-13: 9780804768993

Male Confessions examines how males open their intimate lives and innovations to the general public via confessional writing. This ebook examines writings—by St. Augustine, a Jewish ghetto policeman, an imprisoned Nazi wrongdoer, and a homosexual American theologian—that replicate honest makes an attempt at introspective and retrospective self-investigation, usually brought on by way of a few wounding or rupture and by means of a transformative event. Krondorfer takes heavily the vulnerability uncovered in male self-disclosure whereas supplying a critique of the spiritual and gendered rhetoric hired in such discourse. The non secular mind's eye, he argues, permits males to speak about their intimate, fallacious, and sinful selves with no need to sentence themselves or to worry self-erasure. Herein lies the best promise of those confessions: by way of baring their souls to judgment, those writers can also go beyond their self-imprisonment.

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Extra resources for Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination

Example text

Both the male ascetic of antiquity and the holy actor of modernity get to know their flesh and bodily fluids more intimately than men who merely employ their anatomy in pursuit of career, pleasure, and health. Spiritual and artistic experimentations with the male body stand in contrast to its modern utilitarian use. Physical self-sacrifice in pursuit of loftier goals: holy actors and religious ascetics are driven by a male ideology that resists normative ideals of masculinity. Yet they remain caught in a strongly gendered, solitary belief system, a kind of spiritual machismo.

Would spiritually inclined gay men find enough food for thought in these pages? Would my criticism dishearten those heterosexual men who have put personal and scholarly efforts into reforming their ways of thinking about themselves and religion? I ask these questions because Male Confessions wishes to address itself to people of such diverse perspectives, yet I fear the judgment of the experts in any of these disciplines. My expectations and anxieties, then, are not so different from those of the confessing men who are the object of my study.

The Egyptian desert merely occupied a place in their religious imagination and did not represent an option they truly wanted to pursue. Antony became a model for contemplation, not imitation. More accurately, it was the narrative about Antony that served as a model for contemplation. ’” While reading, this man was “filled with holy love and sobering shame . . ” But “in pain at the coming to birth of new life”—­ Ponticianus concluded his account—this man “returned his eyes to the book’s pages. 15; emphasis added).

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Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination by Björn Krondorfer


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