Reforming pastoral care

masculinity, male pathologies, and gender-specific pastoral care


Despite a heightened awareness of gender in practical theology, little attention has been paid to men-specific perspectives so far. This article contrasts the claims of the so-called mythopoetic movement about masculinity and male pathologies with findings from sociology and recent pub-lications in practical theology. This allows me to discuss a number of observations on contempo-rary masculinities, men’s pathologies and spiritual needs, and how the church can integrate such insights into its practical ministry. I will argue that misguided notions of masculinity are at the root of many male pathologies. Greater engagement with spirituality is key to male flourishing, and church can be a place for men to explore and develop authentic forms of spirituality. This article makes the case for reforming church practices and pastoral care so that greater pastoral attention to gender allows men to embark on a therapeutic spiritual path that ultimately transcends gender.