The construction of masculinities and femininities in the Church of England: the case of the male clergy spouse

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The ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church of England in 1994 signified great change. The impact of the new priests was well documented, and their integration became the focus of much research in the following years. One important area of change was the altered dynamics of gender identity. New roles had opened up for women, but new identities had also emerged for men. While women priests were a new historical emergence, so too were clergy husbands. This paper will consider the historical construction of masculinities and femininities within the church and will go on to look at this in the context of clergy spouses, specifically focusing on men occupying this role. Some provisional findings, acting as work in progress, will be considered.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalFeminist Theology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • clergy spouse, gender identity, Church of England, masculinities, Church work


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