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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores gendered dimensions of theological categories in nineteenth-century Christian thought, primarily in Germany. By defining religion as feeling, symbolized in feminine terms, theologians in this period embraced relationality and dependence as ideals for human life. By viewing the family as a model of religious community and a site for the adjudication and cultivation of political values, intellectuals sought alternatives to modern ‘fragmentation’ and processes of alienation and rationalization. Among feminist thinkers, debates over marriage and women’s emancipation raised new questions about the promises and failures of modernization and secularization. Paying attention to these gendered inflections in nineteenth-century Christian thought helps produce a more complicated story about its central features and concerns—one that highlights the value placed not simply on individualism, autonomy, and relativism (as the dominant scholarly paradigm often suggests), but also on relationality, dependence, and the authority and value of religious tradition for modern life.

Keywords: gender, feeling, family, marriage, religion and society, feminization of religion, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Ludwig Feuerbach, Ernst Troeltsch, Marianne Weber

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