Wildmen, Warriors, and Kings: Masculine Spirituality and the Bible

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9780824511050: Wildmen, Warriors, and Kings: Masculine Spirituality and the Bible

There is growing evidence that the decade of the 1990s will become the decade of the Men's movement. Increasingly men are engaged in spiritual work. Two decades of the Women's movement propelled this development and writers like Robert Bly have challenged the contemporary beliefs and values of men, pointing out the dysfunction of modern society and the failure to provide healthy nurture to its sons. With all the discussion of a men's movement, there exists a gaping need for a strongly positive book on men's spirituality. Patrick Arnold addresses this through a discussion of the relation of sexuality and gender to spirituality and the unique qualities of masculine spirituality. He then goes on to show how key figures in the Bible teach men about the blessings and curses of classical masculine archetypes, such as the Wildman and the Warrior, and indicates how these figures are reflected in the masculine metaphors for God. Abraham (the patriarch), Moses (the warrior), Solomon (the king), and Elijah (the wildman) are viewed both for the positive traits they display as well as the shadow side of their character. These figures are a much richer resource than is usually perceived, and Arnold believes that the positive traits of these and other biblical figures can be incorporated by men today.

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From Library Journal:

Jesuit scholar Arnold decries the increasing scarcity of men actively participating in the church. He reveals a route of return through the use of Jungian male archetypes which serve as role models in the Bible. Archetypes discussed include the Wildman (Elijah), the Warrior (Moses), and the King (Solomon). Though they are flawed, Arnold contends that their synthesis--Jesus--provides the ideal role model. Arnold denounces the misandry (hatred of males) of many feminist theologians, and that of women who practice ancient Goddess religions. He draws heavily on the "men's movement" ideas of Robert Bly and Robert Moore, and the mythological theories of Joseph Campbell. His study is spirited, unapologetic, and at times belligerent--not unlike some of his Biblical heroes. Recommended.
- Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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