Knights Without Armor

Aaron R. Kipnis, Ph.D., Knights Without Armor: A Practical Guide for Men in Quest of Masculine Soul. (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1991) (order on-line)

  This book is both a comprehensive exploration of men's issues and a step-by-step guide for reclaiming "authentic masculinity." It provides an good blend of research and the feelings and experiences of men in Dr. Kipnis' group. It offers an excellent balance between the mythopoetic, wound healing, and reverse sexism/political aspects of the "Men's Movement."

The "knights without armor" are the men in Dr. Kipnis' men's group, which began as a weekly poker game. They soon found themselves immersed in the grief and anger arising from the paradoxical experiences and destructive behavior patterns which seem to affect the lives of all men in our culture.

The book follows this group through a 12-Step type growth process. Their first tasks were to admit that underneath their armor there were untended wounds, and to begin to heal them. They then set out to recover some of the ancient forgotten and forbidden sacred images of man, and learn what mythologies from other cultures had to offer to their own lives. They also undertook to rediscover male initiation and to heal the wounds between father and son. This led to new insights into their roles as lovers, workers, hunters, and preservers of the earth. They then began to rebuild male community and heal the wounds between men and women. This book represents part of their final task, to continue their own quest for masculine soul and to reach out to other men on a similar quest.

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