Introduction: Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Post-Christian Britain

  • Lucy Delap
  • Sue Morgan
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Twentieth-Century Britain investigates the influence of religion on the formation of men as gendered and sexual beings. It surveys a geographical and historical period — twentieth-century Britain — which has witnessed profound changes in both religious cultures and the gender order. This is a century which has generally been understood as secularising — or indeed, for men, largely secular — a process often represented historically as a loss. Male piety has been largely invisible, not least due to the scholarly emphasis upon women as the main inheritors and shapers of Britain’s heterogeneous religious cultures. Observant or faithful men, where they have been addressed by historians, have been understood as paradoxical or unrepresentative of broader social, political and cultural trends. Powerfully influenced by the intellectual criticism of Christianity in the later nineteenth century as well as by the irreligion of popular culture in the same period, men have been more likely to see religious morality and devotional practices as out of keeping with dominant worldly, financially competitive, physically aggressive or sexually promiscuous scripts for modern masculinity. According to one army chaplain in the World War I, British soldiers regarded the ‘modern business world and the practice of real discipleship’1 as irreconcilably antagonistic.


Religious Identity Religious Culture Religious Change British History Class Masculinity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further reading

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© Lucy Delap and Sue Morgan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Delap
  • Sue Morgan

There are no affiliations available

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