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Christian University Students’ Attitudes to Gender: Constructing Everyday Theologies in a Post-Feminist Climate

1
Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University; Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
2
Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University; Durham DH1, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020133
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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PDF [296 KB, uploaded 25 February 2019]

Abstract

This article explores how religion shapes approaches to gender amongst university students in the United Kingdom, focusing on how attitudes about gender interact with their Christian identities. Drawing from 68 semi-structured interviews conducted at five universities, the article identifies three main approaches Christian students adopt when asked how faith affects their views on gender: the individualized approach, the egalitarian approach and the conservative approach. The article outlines the permutations of these approaches, showing their points of similarity and difference, and argues that feminism, biological essentialism and notions of reasonableness or “cultural common sense” feature in all three, being integral to the gender discourse of “post-feminist” UK society. The article argues that religion functions as a resource in Christian students’ gender attitudes, alongside other resources such as friends or family, and is deployed to justify both egalitarianism and gender conservatism. Christian students are constructing “everyday theologies” that integrate religious resources with other social resources, generating divergent egalitarian and conservative interpretations, mirroring patterns in “post-feminist” UK society more generally. View Full-Text
Keywords: Christianity; students; higher education; gender; feminism; attitudes; religion; universities; post-feminism Christianity; students; higher education; gender; feminism; attitudes; religion; universities; post-feminism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Aune, K.; Guest, M. Christian University Students’ Attitudes to Gender: Constructing Everyday Theologies in a Post-Feminist Climate. Religions 2019, 10, 133.

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