American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope with Modernization and Democracy

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Religions respond to capitalism, democracy, industrialization, feminism, individualism, and the phenomenon of globalization in a variety of ways. Some religions conform to these challenges, if not capitulate to them; some critique or resist them, and some work to transform the modern societies they inhabit.

In this unique collection of critical essays, scholars of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Native American thought explore the tension between modernization and the family, sexuality, and marriage traditions of major religions in America. Contributors examine how various belief systems have confronted changing attitudes regarding the meaning and purpose of sex, the definition of marriage, the responsibility of fathers, and the status of children. They also discuss how family law in America is beginning to acknowledge certain religious traditions and how comparative religious ethics can explain and evaluate diverse family customs.

Studies concerning the impact of religious thought and behavior on American society have never been more timely or important. Recent global events cannot be fully understood without comprehending how belief systems function and the many ways they can be employed to the benefit and detriment of societies. Responding to this critical need, American Religions and the Family presents a comprehensive portrait of religious cultures in America and offers secular society a pathway for appreciating religious tradition.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

H-Ideas - Michael LeFlem
A timely... well-researched, solidly structured book.
BYU Studies - Loren Marks
The volume is stumulating, readable, and relevant.
A timely... well-researched, solidly structured book.

— Michael LeFlem

BYU Studies
The volume is stumulating, readable, and relevant.

— Loren Marks

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231138000
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Don S. Browning is Alexander Professor Emeritus of Religious Ethics and the Social Sciences and former director of the Religion, Culture, and Family Project at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of eleven books, most recently Marriage and Modernization: How Globalization Threatens Marriage and What to Do About It and Christian Ethics and the Moral Psychologies.David A. Clairmont is assistant professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and former project coordinator for the Religion, Culture, and Family Project. His research and teaching interests include Catholic moral theology, Franciscan spirituality, comparative religious ethics, and the moral thought of Theravada Buddhism.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart 1: American Religions: The Question of Modernization and Family Life 1. IntroductionDavid A. Clairmont and Don S. Browning2. Immigrant American Religions and the Family: New Diversity and ConservatismPaul D. NumrichPart 2: Family Traditions in the American Religions 3. The Cultural Contradictions of Mainline Family Ideology and PracticeW. Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Williamson4. Evangelicals, Family, and ModernityMargaret Bendroth5. Native American Families and ReligionRaymond A. Bucko6. Marriage, Family, and the Modern Catholic MindJulie Hanlon Rubio7. Generative Approaches to Modernity, Discrimination, and Black FamiliesRobert M. Franklin8. Latter-day Saint Marriage and Family Life in Modern AmericaDavid C. Dollahite9. What Is a Jewish Family? The Radicalization of Rabbinic DiscourseJack Wertheimer10. Confucian "Familism" in AmericaJeffrey F. Meyer11. Family Life and Spiritual Kinship in American Buddhist CommunitiesCharles S. Prebish12. Hindu Family in AmericaRaymond Brady Williams13. Islam and the Family in North AmericaJane I. SmithPart 3: Public Frontiers for American Religions and the Family 14. Religion and Modernity in American Family LawLee E. Teitelbaum15. Comparative Religion, Ethics, and American Family Life:Concluding Questions and Future DirectionsDavid A. ClairmontThe ContributorsIndex

Columbia University Press

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