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.
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).
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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