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Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family Paperback – 23 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press (23 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334028221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334028222
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,138,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Rosemary Radford Ruether, one of the world's leading feminist theologians, is the author of over thirty books, and is the Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on 17 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Reuther traces the history "Christian family values" through a series of transformations, in which the very notion of a static tradition goes up in smoke. Among these turns we find the Reformation's destruction of women's religious communities, as the Augsburg town council proclaimed in 1534:

"How should it come to any good when women join themselves in a separate life, contrary to the ordinance of God, yes, against nature, they give themselves to obedience to a woman, who has neither reason nor the understanding to govern whether in spiritual or temporal matters, who ought not to govern but be governed?" (p. 72)

Women's place, once more, was in the home. Until reading the Bible at home gave rise to hosts of biblically literate mothers, ready to form a Christianity of both fathers and mothers. Reuther shows the old divisions of roles and powers for each sex slowly collapsing, partly because the scriptures described Jesus as combining both paternal and maternal values. Then comes a tide of women's values invading the public domain. By Victorian times we see the very image of Jesus changing, as an almost hyper-feminized Jesus makes his appearance in religious art: "In Victorian images, Jesus had limpid eyes, delicate features, and silky hair and was surrounded by children, no more the glaring medieval pantocrator as world ruler, warrior, judge and king". (p. 104) This new Jesus might be meek and mild; but his female soldiers could be militant, as seen in the movements against slavery or child labor, for public education of both girls and boys, and for the vote. As Reuther puts it, "Reform of working and social conditions and public sanitation was thereby defined as an extension of a woman's housekeeping role in the family". (p.
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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The repeatedly reinvented Christian family 17 Jan. 2008
By Brian Griffith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ruether traces the history "Christian family values" through a series of transformations, in which the very notion of a static tradition goes up in smoke. Among these turns we find the Reformation's destruction of women's religious communities, as the Augsburg town council proclaimed in 1534:

"How should it come to any good when women join themselves in a separate life, contrary to the ordinance of God, yes, against nature, they give themselves to obedience to a woman, who has neither reason nor the understanding to govern whether in spiritual or temporal matters, who ought not to govern but be governed?" (p. 72)

Women's place, once more, was in the home. Until reading the Bible at home gave rise to hosts of biblically literate mothers, ready to form a Christianity of both fathers and mothers. Ruether shows the old divisions of roles and powers for each sex slowly collapsing, partly because the scriptures described Jesus as combining both paternal and maternal values. Then comes a tide of women's values invading the public domain. By Victorian times we see the very image of Jesus changing, as an almost hyper-feminized Jesus makes his appearance in religious art: "In Victorian images, Jesus had limpid eyes, delicate features, and silky hair and was surrounded by children, no more the glaring medieval pantocrator as world ruler, warrior, judge and king". (p. 104) This new Jesus might be meek and mild; but his female soldiers could be militant, as seen in the movements against slavery or child labor, for public education of both girls and boys, and for the vote. As Ruether puts it, "Reform of working and social conditions and public sanitation was thereby defined as an extension of a woman's housekeeping role in the family". (p. 112)

Ruether's portrayal of social transformations for men and for children is equally dramatic. In her account, "family tradition" is exposed as a controversy-charged work in progress for every generation. History writing seldom gets so important or hits so close to home as this.

-author of Correcting Jesus
Five Stars 8 Feb. 2015
By Yan Qi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good quality. fast shipment.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Faith and Family--marriage made in heaven? 2 Aug. 2007
By David Radcliff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This leading Christian feminist does a very good job tracing the roots--or lack thereof--of the contemporary concept of family. Turns out there never really was a "good ole days," as models of the family have changed considerably over the years. She examines families in pre-Christian Judaism and the Greco-Roman world, then reminds us the way in which the Jesus Movement challenged concepts of family--along with all other human institutions. Reuther follows gender roles, the teachings (and practice) of the church in relation to marriage and family, and societal family arrangements on up through the time of the early church, the Middle Ages, and recent history. She challenges the idea of God-ordained male domination of families, and calls for love, justice and equality to reign.

A great introduction to the role of Christianity in shaping "family values," but not in the typical understanding of that catch-phrase--which has been commandeered by the religious right.

Interesting quote: "The Jesus Movement was a gathering of mostly marginalized women and men out of families and occupations into a countercultural community."
Four Stars 17 Jan. 2015
By Truc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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