Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family

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9780807054079: Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family

How did a religion whose founding proponents advocated a shocking disregard of earthly ties come to extol the virtues of the "traditional" family? In this richly textured history of the relationship between Christianity and the family, Rosemary Radford Ruether traces the development of these centerpieces of modern life to reveal the misconceptions at the heart of the "family values" debate.

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About the Author:

Rosemary Radford Ruether, one of the world's leading feminist theologians, is the Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology at the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. She is author of over thirty books, including Sexism and God-Talk (Beacon / 1205-X / $17.00 pb) and Womanguides (Beacon / 1235-1 / $15.00 pb), and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

From Booklist:

In lucidly accounting for the social construction of the modern family and its sacralization by the Christian right, Ruether is characteristically direct. She begins by juxtaposing a Focus on the Family description of Jesus as "founder of homes" and "creator of families" with Jesus' insistence, in Luke's Gospel, that any disciple of his must hate father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and even his or her own life. She concludes by articulating a reimagining of families as structurally diverse "redemptive communities," grounded in friendship, in which making love is "a means of grace for redemptive life." In between, she surveys the transformation of early Christianity's socially critical, politically subversive perspective on the family into the Christian right's defensive regard for the Victorian family as normative. Ruether combines careful scholarship, theological reflection, and passionate vision, and her suggested alternative to the family model that the Christian right favors and would make injunctive will ring true to those living in a world where both Christianity and families are diverse. Steven Schroeder
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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