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Theology and Families

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5275-4
288 pages
January 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Theology and Families (1405152753) cover image
This timely book, by one of the world’s leading theologians in this field, makes a positive theological contribution to present intellectual and practical discussions about families and children.

  • Explores the intellectual and practical debates about the changing nature of family forms, roles and relationships, and how Christian faith and theology can contribute to the thriving of families and children.
  • Considers the causes and consequences of changes to families over recent decades.
  • Utilizes the theological resources that are best equipped to deal with these changes and to shape ethical teaching, ethical practice, moral judgements, and public policies.
  • Develops family-friendly readings of scripture, tradition and doctrine, and moves forward theological treatment of marriage, gender and children.
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Preface.

PART I: SOURCES.

1. BEGINNING WITH REAL FAMILIES AND CHILDREN.

Family Forms.

Global Upheavals.

Theological Responses.

Theology and Families: Arguments and Themes.

2. THE BIBLE IN THE SERVICE OF FAMILIES.

Families Then and Now.

The Bible and Critical Familism.

Family-Friendly Readings.

3. THE TEACHING OF JESUS ABOUT FAMILIES AND CHILDREN.

The Teaching of Jesus about Families.

The Teaching of Jesus about Children.

Parents, Children and Priorities.

Loving Neighbours, Loving Children?.

4. RELATIONS, FAMILIES AND THE TRIUNE GOD.

Relations and Families.

Love as a Relation.

Families and the Trinity.

The Gift of a Child.

Our Families and Ourselves in God’s Image.

Families and Structural Sin.

PART II: RELATIONS.

5. SPOUSES AND PARTNERS.

Do Families Need Marriages?.

Disputes about evidence.

‘Marital Values’ and the Problem of Commitment.

6. CHILDREN, PARENTS AND RIGHTS.

Where are the Children?.

The Defence of Children’s Rights.

The Christ Child and the Rights of all Children.

7. GOD, PARENTS AND CHILDREN.

God the Father and Human Parenting.

God the Father: Revisionary Proposals.

Parenting, Divine and Human.

Parents, Children and Sacrificial Love.

8. OPEN FAMILIES: CHOOSING TO BE CHILDLESS.

Extending Families.

Families and Neighbourhoods.

Open Families and the Teaching of Jesus.

Choosing Childlessness.

Chosen Childlessness: an Appraisal.

9. FAMILIES AND THE ‘DOMESTIC CHURCH’.

Families and the ‘Domestic Church’.

Families and the Local Church.

The Churches and Pro-Family Policies.

Bibliography.

Index

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Adrian Thatcher is part-time Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, having previously been Professor of Applied Theology at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth. His numerous books include: The Daily Telegraph Guide to Christian Marriage (2003), Celebrating Christian Marriage (2002), Living Together and Christian Ethics (2002), Spirituality and the Curriculum (1999), Marriage After Modernity (1999) and (with Elizabeth Stuart) People of Passion – what the churches teach about sex (1997).
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  • Explores the intellectual and practical debates about the changing nature of family forms, roles and relationships, and how Christian faith and theology can contribute to the thriving of families and children.

  • Considers the causes and consequences of changes to families over recent decades.

  • Utilizes the theological resources that are best equipped to deal with these changes and to shape ethical teaching, ethical practice, moral judgements, and public policies.

  • Develops family-friendly readings of scripture, tradition and doctrine, and moves forward theological treatment of marriage, gender and children.



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    "In what will surely become a standard work, Adrian Thatcher provides a Trinitarian theology of families and children which addresses the question: 'How may the resources of Christian faith and practice contribute to the thriving of families, and in particular, of children?' ... Each discussion is full of wisdom and practical insight, and engages in constructive criticism with contemporary authors from across the theological spectrum ... A very fine book, well written, and very timely." Church Times <!--end-->

    “A dense, scholarly text, carefully argued and meticulously researched.” The Way

    “This book is a preferential option for and a theological liberation of children. No one interested in children and their parents in a time of changing family structure should miss it. It is scholarly yet readable by a wide audience, thought provoking, and it offers clear direction for the future. A master theologian goes to the heart of one of the most universal, and most neglected, issues of our day.” Michael G Lawler, Creighton University


    "This volume is carefully constructed, well documented, comprehensive and in general excellent. The combination of the doctrinal tradition (e.g. the Trinity and baptism) with expertise in contemporary thought on social issues ( e.g. children’s rights, issues of choosing childlessness and step-families) is impressive. Adrian Thatcher explores a wide range of theological positions from the far right to the far left, dealing knowledgeably with such complex issues as the sexual exploitation of children and the churches’ roles in the promotion of pro-family policies. The study deserves to become a standard work of reference." George Newlands, Glasgow University



    "An outstanding contribution to theological debate on families and children … that combines the expertise of an eminent theologian and the experience of a loving parent."
    Theological Book Review

    “Thatcher … always pays careful attention both to social scientific evidence and to biblical evidence … overall blend is distinctive … a book to buy.”
    Journal of Theological Studies

    "A rich and thought provoking book that engages theologically with a host of facets of contempory family life." Journal of Contempory Religion

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