Boys Will Be Boys, and Other Myths: Unravelling Biblical Masculinities

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Throughout history, we have exalted and theologised about men like Moses or Paul for so long that we have become oblivious to the fact that they are far from perfect role models for Christian manhood. Failing to read scripture properly, we have, throughout history, used it to shape a distorted, toxic understanding of masculinity. Stretching from issues of violence, emotional and sexual abuse, and the desire for power, to mental health stigmatisation, homophobia, and the suppression of emotions, Will Moore draws from scholarship, personal stories, and popular culture to offer an honest and accessible insight into what we are talking about when we talk about biblical masculinity. But, he suggests, once we disentangle these toxic narratives of masculinity – both in the bible and contemporaneously – we can find a healthier, more positive understanding of what kind of a thing masculinity is.

Will Moore is currently training for priesthood in the Church of England at Westcott House in Cambridge, undertaking study and research within the Cambridge Theological Federation. Prior to this, he studied for degrees in theology and biblical studies at Cardiff University.


“The cult of masculinity in certain parts of the global church has resulted in much personal, familial and structural harm. Will Moore is one of the important voices in the emerging generation of British pastor theologians. For both of these reasons, the argument he presents in this his first book, Boys Will Be Boys, deserves careful attention and a wide audience.” — Helen Paynter, Director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, Bristol.

“In this open, accessible book, Will Moore aims to shed light on the ways in which portrayals of men in the Bible have fed into accounts of masculinity in present-day church and society. Rich with examples from contemporary media and recent events, the book does not assume familiarity with scholarly literature in either biblical studies or critical masculinity studies, and will thus be of service to readers newer to these areas. Moore’s self-reflexive openness to change and challenge invites the same of those who read his work.” — Susannah Cornwall, Professor of Constructive Theologies, University of Exeter.

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