Leon J. Podles: The Church Impotent

The Feminization of Christianity

Spence Publishing Company, 1999 (Go to the publisher’s website or amazon and buy)

Book Description:

PodlesIn the stale and overworked field of gender studies, The Church Impotent is the only book to confront the lopsidedly feminine cast of modern Christianity with a profound analysis of its historical and sociological roots. Dr. Podles identifies the masculine traits that once characterized the Christian life but are now commonly considered incompatible with it. In an original and challenging account, he traces three contemporaneous medieval sources: the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the rise of scholasticism, and the expansion of female monasticism. He contends that though masculinity has been marginalized within Christianity, it cannot be expunged from human society. If detached from Christianity, it reappears as a substitute religion, with unwholesome and even horrific consequences. The church, too, is diminished by its emasculation. Its spirituality becomes individualistic and erotic, tending toward universalism and quietism. In his concluding assessment of the future of men in the church, Dr. Podles examines three aspects of Christianity – initiation, struggle, and fraternal love – through which its virility might be restored.


“This groundbreaking book should be read by everyone concerned about the future of Christianity.”  St. Anthony Messenger

“This volume will certainly invite an important discussion.”  National Catholic Reporter

About the Author:

Leon J. Podles, a native of Baltimore, earned his bachelor’s degree at Providence College and his Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia. He later studied Old Icelandic at the University of Iceland. He has worked as a teacher and a federal investigator and is now the president of the Crossland Foundation. Among the numerous journals for which he has written are America, American Spectator, Crisis, and American Enterprise, and he is a contributing editor of Touchstone. Dr. Podles and his wife have six children and live in Naples, Florida, and Baltimore.

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Ramana Maharshi