Building Cultures of Trust

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Overview

American society is experiencing a profound crisis of trust, from government to mass media to educational and religious institutions. And — whether we realize it or not — this crisis affects us all.

In Building Cultures of Trust, Martin Marty proposes ways of improving the conditions for trust at what might be called the “grass roots” level. He suggests that it makes a difference if citizens put energy into inventing, developing, and encouraging “cultures of trust” in all areas of life — families, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and more. Marty believes that such efforts at trust-building will do more than trickle up to larger areas of society; it will become a slow spreading of habits of honesty, inspiring trust on a culture-changing scale.

Far from na�ve, Marty realizes that the reality of human nature tends towards trust-breaking, not trust-building. All the more reason, he argues, to develop strategies to bring about improvements, one small step at a time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The presidential election of 2000, the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and the wars ins Afghanistan and Iraq called into serious question for many individuals the degree to which trust in political and religious leaders has been completely broken. In his thoughtful and probing study, Marty, the dean of American religious thinkers, examines some of the reasons that mistrust is fostered in society and then suggests ways that trust can become a more evident feature of society, enriching our lives. Rather than striving to construct a utopian state in which everyone trusts everyone else completely, Marty suggests a more incremental approach in which individuals in various cultures and sub-cultures, such as science and religion, begin to build trust step-by-step through conversations about the nature of human communication and the human self. Open flow of communication is vital, for Marty, to the development of trust as part of the goal of building cultures in a complex society. Part of the Emory University Studies in Law and Religion series, Marty's little book offers hopeful suggestions for restoring trust in a world sorely lacking it. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802865465
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin E. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for thirty-five years. Among his many books are Righteous Empire — for which he won the National Book Award — and the three-volume Modern American Religion.
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