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From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (Family Religion And Culture) [Paperback]

By Don S. Browning (Author)
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Item description for From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (Family Religion And Culture) by Don S. Browning...

What is the status of the American family? How is it changing? Are these changes making anything better? What is the future of the family? Does religion offer a positive answer? Not since Habits of the Heart has one book confronted issues with such personal and societal impact. Using in-depth case studies and national surveys, and now with an updated Preface and new Appendix, this groundbreaking book presents arguments for the creation of a new family ethic that should be central to both the agenda of contemporary society and the mission of the church.

Publishers Description

What is the status of the American family? How is it changing? Are these changes making anything better? What is the future of the family? Does religion offer a positive answer? Not since "Habits of the Heart" has one book confronted these important issues with such personal and societal impact. This groundbreaking study argues for the creation of a new family ethic that must be central to the agendas of both contemporary society and the church.

The Family, Culture, and Religion series offers informed and responsible analyses of the state of the American family from a religious perspective and provides practical assistance for the family's revitalization.

Citations And Professional Reviews
From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (Family Religion And Culture) by Don S. Browning has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Century - 05/09/2001 page 18

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   406
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 12, 2000
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
Edition  Revised  
Series  Family Religion And Culture  
ISBN  0664223524  
ISBN13  9780664223526  

Availability  144 units.
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More About Don S. Browning

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Normal 0 ! /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent: ""; margin:0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";} h1 {mso-style-next: Normal; margin:0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; page-break-after: avoid; mso-outline-level:1; font-size:12.0pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-font-kerning:0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin: .5in; mso-footer-margin: .5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page: Section1;} > Max L. Stackhouse is Rimmer and Ruth de Vries Professor of Reformed Theology and Public Life Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary and coordinating editor of the "God and Globalization "series. Don S. Browning teaches at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Don S. Browning has published or released items in the following series...
  1. God and Globalization

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2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Family

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Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Contemporary Issues

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Reviews - What do customers think about From Culture Wars to Common Ground?

All in the family...  Oct 25, 2004
The term 'family values' has come into commonplace speech in various settings, spurred on by but not the exclusive province of political speech. Even in the officially church-and-state-separated domain of American culture, the idea of family values cannot be separated from religious and moral values - indeed, sometime the phrase is used as a code-word signal for certain types of religious and moral values.

This book, 'From Culture Wars to Common Ground', starts by addressing two particular questions - what is the situation of the family in current-day American culture, and what can the Judeo-Christian tradition have to offer? The authors draw on sociological, psychological, historical and theological sources to produce a wide-ranging discussion of the family. They examine in turn the issues, the traditions, the voices, and directions in which the family trends are going in the future. There are five highlighted families introduced in the beginning, who are seen as case studies for many of the ideas throughout the text. These families represent different religious backgrounds (Jewish and Christian of various types) as well as different socio-economic backgrounds.

In the category of issues, the authors look at the political designations often assigned in both conservative and liberal terms - they see a progression away from the idea that concerns for the family are the exclusive province of the right. There are crises in the family, but who has clarity for understanding them? Explanations from the social sciences are examined, as well as trends and changes over the past generation. The authors identify four factors - changing cultural values, changing psychological understandings, changing economic conditions, and patriarchal issues - as being important in this understanding. Finally, the ideals by which modern families are judged are examined, from puritan/colonial models to more modern ideas shows a diversity of ways in which families have been properly constituted and understood in the past.

This segues into the section on tradition. While every family seems to require love, just what is meant by this term? Love can mean different things to different families, and in different contexts. Love and the moral ecology of the highlighted families are explored, as are concepts of honour, shame and equality. How does a more traditional, male-headed family structure actually play out in the modern world? Can more general ideas of equality and mutuality be useful for family formation? One interesting example highlights a man named Phil Green, and compares his current-day family set-up as a Jehovah's Witness with the ideas of Aquinas - the similarities and the difficulties with this view.

The section on voices is perhaps the most interesting. It highlights modern theories and traditional sources. Ideas from feminism and psychotherapeutic methods are compared and contrasted with what might be called more typical 'family values' ideas in the Christian Right, Roman Catholic, and Black Church settings. The authors also draw in voices from beyond the church in the wider culture, particularly as they relate to civil and economic concerns. The authors look at the decline of civil society and the kinds of networks that support family stability through different social theorists, charging churches to take on the task of being 'the major carriers of countervailing narratives that balance the stories undergirding the imposed justice of states and the cost-benefit logic of markets.'

In the final section, the authors develop a practical theology of families which includes the idea of mutuality over self-sacrifice, looking for love that helps good things to grow in terms of identity and relationship. Sacrifice can be important, but should not be the goal, particularly in unequal measure (i.e., the woman is often the one who sacrifices her career, her goals, etc. for the sake of the family). They also develop the concept of 'critical familism', which looks at what churches can do both within and outside of their own congregation communities.

The authors acknowledge that there is no panacea or 'magic bullet' cure, but rather propose many different perspectives and strategies for engagement, the first step of which requires acknowledgement that there is a problem.

The book is well-organised, well-written, engaging, easy to follow, and well documented. There is a useful index. This makes a good text for any pastor or counselor who needs to deal with family issues, and would also make a good book for public leaders to pay attention to.

Great Book  Jan 15, 2000
This is a wonderful book about changing patterns in U.S. family life. It includes thought provoking theological reflections, ethicial analysis, and practical suggestions.

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