Original Research

Muscular Christianity in contemporary South Africa: The case of the Mighty Men Conference

Siphiwe Dube
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a2945 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.2945 | © 2015 Siphiwe Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2015 | Published: 01 July 2015

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Siphiwe Dube, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Drawing on key aspects of Muscular Christianity identified through this movement’s literature, this article ventures that the major contemporary Evangelical Christian men’s movement in South Africa, the Mighty Men Conference (MMC), draws on and harkens back to the concerns of the Victorian era of Muscular Christianity. Moreover, the article argues that this reversion should be of concern in the context of a post-apartheid and postcolonial South Africa where both women’s rights and human rights (especially encompassing racial equality) now form the core of the country’s identity. In other words, the MMC’s call to men to reclaim their top position is problematic even while it comes from a place of concern regarding the changing role of men in a transitional South African landscape.


Muscular Christianity; Mighty Men Conference; White Masculinities; Race and Empire; Gendered Transformation


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