Title: In Crisis: (Re)Constructing Masculinities and the Meaning of the Cross through Cultural Trauma.
This thesis argues that considering masculinity as ‘in crisis’ can be represented as a process of cultural trauma. This acknowledges that masculinities can be perceived as ruptured, and therefore the self-understanding of many men’s identities becomes fragmented and shattered. For many, this perceived trauma is responded to with a desire to return to ‘traditional values’, purported to be rooted in notions of ‘biblical masculinity’. For others, there is opportunity for masculinities to be reimagined and transformed into queerer possibilities. This, of course, obliges us to reconstruct our theologies – namely, how might we re-understand the meaning of the cross, a place where Jesus experiences violence and trauma that impacts his masculinity, and leaves wounds of such gendered violence? Using constructive trauma theology, this thesis reconstructs the meaning of the cross in light of the cultural trauma of masculinities in crisis and invites us to return to reconstructing masculinities today in a similar fashion.
Supervisors: Dr Karen O’Donnell and Prof. David Tombs (University of Otago, NZ).