PART I: SOURCES.
1. BEGINNING WITH REAL FAMILIES AND CHILDREN.
Theology and Families: Arguments and Themes.
2. THE BIBLE IN THE SERVICE OF FAMILIES.
Families Then and Now.
The Bible and Critical Familism.
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.
Families and Neighbourhoods.
Open Families and the Teaching of Jesus.
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.
“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
- 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.