Religions respond to capitalism, democracy, industrialization,
feminism, individualism, and the phenomenon of globalization in a
variety of ways. Some religions conform to these challenges, if not
capitulate to them; some critique or resist them, and some work to
transform the modern societies they inhabit.
In this unique collection of critical essays, scholars of
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and
Native American thought explore the tension between modernization
and the family, sexuality, and marriage traditions of major
religions in America. Contributors examine how various belief
systems have confronted changing attitudes regarding the meaning
and purpose of sex, the definition of marriage, the responsibility
of fathers, and the status of children. They also discuss how
family law in America is beginning to acknowledge certain religious
traditions and how comparative religious ethics can explain and
evaluate diverse family customs.
Studies concerning the impact of religious thought and behavior
on American society have never been more timely or important.
Recent global events cannot be fully understood without
comprehending how belief systems function and the many ways they
can be employed to the benefit and detriment of societies.
Responding to this critical need, American Religions and the
Family presents a comprehensive portrait of religious cultures
in America and offers secular society a pathway for appreciating
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