The Essence of Family – Kirsten Birkett (Paperback)
It is hard to imagine ‘the family’ ever being more under threat and stress than it is in Western society at the opening of the 21st century. Apart from the alarming rate of divorce and family breakdown, many families are struggling to balance the competing demands of work and child-raising. And in the public arena, a vigorous debate is raging over how ‘family’ should be defined, not only with respect to same-sex marriage, but also in light of the new possibilities that reproductive technology brings.
Most books about family go straight to the day-to-day problems and offer quick, practical solutions. This book has a different focus, and offers a different set of solutions. Kirsten Birkett takes a step back to consider what a ‘family’ really is, and why ‘families’ of one kind or another are such an enduring feature of all human societies. Are we ‘meant’ to live in families? And if so, what sort of families? Is the traditional Christian model of family life repressive and harmful (as has often been suggested)? Or do the ancient scriptural teachings actually have important things to say to us?
The arguments that Dr Birkett martials–historical, moral, and spiritual–are powerful, and have far-reaching implications. Read The Essence of Family only if you are prepared to think critically about what ‘family’ really means.
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