This book is Ruether!s (theology, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary) self-professed critique of the failure of the Christian Right!s family values! campaign to embody an ethic of justice and reconciliation. Highlighting historical Christianity!s paradoxical stances on marriage, celibacy, and women, Ruether argues strongly that the concept of the family has undergone many manifestations over time and that, when espousing a return to family values, the church stands more on cultural standards than theological truths. Ruether!s strength lies in presenting a comprehensive sociopolitical history of women and the family rather than in delineating corresponding Christian/clerical responses to changing social norms. She neither pits church doctrines against social claims nor explains how the church historically altered its vision with respect to the family. While it might sacrifice depth for breadth, this is still a highly readable and important political stab at timely theological and cultural questions for women!s studies and religion collections."Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Provocative. . . . [Ruether's] impressive scholarship, interweaving social history with religious history, puts the family in a fascinating historical context. --Marilyn Gardner, The Christian Science Monitor
Though a new reading of history, [Ruether] leads us to the question, Is there a new way of reading family, sex, and procreation theologically that can support a more just and sustainable vision of family, home, and work? --Rosemary Keller, editor of In Our Own Voices: Four Centuries of American Women's Religious Writing Well-researched, insightfully honest and engaging. . . . The appeal of Ruether's book is wide. [Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family] forces the reader to assess his or her own understanding of family and family systems. Ruether's book is long overdue. --Nancy Hawkins, America A highly readable and important political stab at timely theological and cultural questions. --Sandra Collins, Library Journal