Constructing the Masculine Crucible: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Christian Men in Deconstruction and Re-integration

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The focus of this work is upon articulating and interpreting the phenomenon of a rapidly changing understanding and expression of American masculinity within a Christian context. The hermeneutics of the stories rendered by Christian American men currently struggling within the shifting sands of gender identity, roles, and relations were qualitatively examined utilizing a phenomenological research design within the contexts of their relationships with self, others, and systems. The researcher presents several nuances regarding the manner in which a sample of 10 American Christian men of differing denominational affiliations articulated their interactions with current masculinity constructs. Ultimately, the study discovered that Christian American men do not seem to demonstrate the same level of confusion and disillusionment that the literature describes as the current state of contemporary American masculinity. Hence, the study suggests that psychospiritual constructs may play a role in informing and assisting men who are currently experiencing the deconstruction of a former identity, and who are seeking the reintegration of a culturally enlightened, yet spiritually informed masculinity. Pastoral counseling implications and issues for further study are also discussed.

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