Fatherhood in British Evangelical Christianity: Negotiating with Mainstream Culture

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Abstract

This article explores fatherhood in evangelical Christianity in the UK, using a case study of the evangelical movement Newfrontiers, a network with nearly 200 UK churches that has been relatively successful against a backdrop of declining church attendance in Britain. Material from the movement’s public discourse and participant observation and interviews in a local congregation are examined to explore how these Christians understand and practise fatherhood. Like evangelicals in the US, Newfrontiers combine older ideas about responsible, breadwinner fatherhood with new concepts of emotionally-involved fathering. Like American evangelicals, they aim to maintain biblical values while embracing contemporary culture in order to be relevant to society. What is noticeable is that despite the more traditional ideals their leaders advocate, evangelical congregations’ fatherhood ideals and practices are very similar to those of mainstream UK society. Thus the article concludes that mainstream culture is exercising a greater influence on British evangelicals than theology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-189
JournalMen and Masculinities
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • fatherhood
  • fathering
  • religion
  • gender
  • evangelical Christianity

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