Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? The Equal-Regard Marriage and Its Critics  -     Edited By: David Blackenhorn
    By: D. Blackenhorn, D. Browning & M.S. Van Leeuwen, eds.
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Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? The Equal-Regard Marriage and Its Critics

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2003 / Paperback

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Product Description

The question of male headship has remained a vexing and often divisive issue in contemporary Christian thought. This insightful volume brings together both sides of the debate, proponents of the concept of an "equal-regard" marriage as well as dissenting voices who advocate male leadership within the family (and often consequently, within the church). With contributions from Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Carolyn Osiek, W. Robert Godfrey, Don Browning, and Mary Gallagher, the essays provide thoughtful commentary and critique, substantively engaging other opinions and contrasting views in a charitable manner.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 141
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0802821715
ISBN-13: 9780802821713
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

This is not just another book on the perennial issue of male headship. In contrast to those many who regard Christianity as the great source of male domination, this book argues that authentic Christianity does not teach that husbands have spiritual superiority over their wives, and its authors listen to and engage voices that still claim that it does. Written by distinguished Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars, the book first demonstrates how deep strands of the Christian tradition have always taught an ethic of gender mutuality, sowing the seeds for what is today called the "equal-regard marriage." Though patriarchy was pervasive in the ancient world surrounding early Christianity and sometimes influenced the church, new research shows that the earliest layers of Christianity both resisted and worked to transform it. Not every author in the book agrees with this point of view; dissenters have their say too. As a whole, "Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? constitutes a robust debate that, finally, invites readers to decide.Contributors: David BlankenhornDon BrowningLisa Sowle CahillAllan C. CarlsonDaniel Mark CereMaggie GallagherW. Robert GodfreyBonnie Miller-McLemoreJohn W. MillerCarolyn OsiekMary Stewart Van LeeuwenJohn Witte Jr.

Endorsements

"These pages challenge conservative Christians to soften their emphasis on male headship in favor of mutuality in adult love; they also challenge liberal Christians to worry more about keeping men attached to their families and children. How wonderful that the gospel challenges us all to wrestle with how to better love one another." -J. Bradley Wigger

"This book casts brilliant new light on the long-troubling issue of male headship in the family. If the book doesn’t fully resolve the issue, it certainly presents a first-class scholarly debate and provides everything a reader would want to know in order to have a reasoned opinion." -David Popenoe

"Around the world---from Nairobi to New York, from Boston to Bangkok---men are spending ever-larger portions of their adult lives apart from their families, as evidenced by increases in divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and abandonment. This provocative volume takes the discussion about male headship in new and fruitful directions by asking if theologically grounded soft patriarchy is the price we must pay to reverse this rising tide of male misbehavior. While most of the contributors maintain that patriarchy is not the answer, all of them grapple in innovative ways with the fundamental theological and sociological issues Christians must face if they hope to encourage men to embrace the sacrifices associated with family life in the twenty-first century." -W. Bradford Wilcox

"There appears to be an impasse in discussions about gender issues among Christians. This timely book is a significant step forward. Its thoughtful chapters take us beyond the usual caricatures made of different positions and into some real depth. An affirmation of “equal-regard marriage” is followed by dissenting views. This strategy introduces readers to the complexities surrounding the issues and should encourage judgments that are well informed. Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? is required reading for anyone looking for clarity on this front-burner concern." -William Edgar

Publisher Description

This is not just another book on the perennial issue of male headship. In contrast to those many who regard Christianity as the great source of male domination, this book argues that authentic Christianity does not teach that husbands have spiritual superiority over their wives, and its authors listen to and engage voices that still claim that it does.

Written by distinguished Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars, the book first demonstrates how deep strands of the Christian tradition have always taught an ethic of gender mutuality, sowing the seeds for what is today called the "equal-regard marriage." Though patriarchy was pervasive in the ancient world surrounding early Christianity and sometimes influenced the church, new research shows that the earliest layers of Christianity both resisted and worked to transform it. Not every author in the book agrees with this point of view; dissenters have their say too. As a whole, Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? constitutes a robust debate that, finally, invites readers to decide.

Contributors include:

  • David Blankenhorn
  • Don Browning
  • Lisa Sowle Cahill
  • Allan C. Carlson
  • Daniel Mark Cere
  • Maggie Gallagher
  • W. Robert Godfrey
  • Bonnie Miller-McLemore
  • John W. Miller
  • Carolyn Osiek
  • Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen
  • John Witte Jr.

Editor Bio

David Blankenhorn is founder and president of the Institute for American Values, a private, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, publication, and public education on issues of family well being and civil society. Blankenhorn has co-edited four books of essays including Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family; Seedbeds of Virtue: Sources of Competence, Character, and Citizenship in American Society; Promises to Keep: Decline and Renewal of Marriage in America; and The Fatherhood Movement. Blankenhorn lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Don S. Browning is Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Religious Ethics and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Divinity School and director of the Lilly Project on Religion, Culture, and the Family. He is coauthor of From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate and serves as coeditor of the "Religion, Marriage, and Family" series by Eerdmans.

Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is professor of psychology and philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and is the author of The Person In Psychology After Eden, Gender and Grace, My Brother's Keeper, and A Preference For People: C.S. Lewis and the Psychology of Gender. She previously taught at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) for many years, and has been a senior editor of Christianity Today. Currently she is a contributing editor for Books & Culture.

Product Reviews

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  1. Mississauga, ON
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    At least the title tells it all
    May 20, 2013
    W. Scott Plavnick
    Mississauga, ON
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Like so many books that push egalitarianism, this one claims not to be one-sided. But from the title on, it is nothing new, but simple liberal theology.
  2. Australia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A bit light on the bible but still helpful
    October 21, 2011
    Michael
    Australia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    When I bought this book, I should have noticed the title said "Does Christianity" and not "Does the Bible". Even though the book does not deal extensively with the bible, it is still a useful read. Equal regard advocates in this book seem to believe the bible can only be interpreted through the cultural and political setting in which it is written and therefore have some very creative interpretations of the bible. Some of the male headship advocates had a similar approach but two seemed to place more emphasise on the bible as God's Word able to speak for itself (which was quite a relief). Both sides agree on how husbands and wives are to treat each other but no one really explains what exactly headship means. Both sides also deal quite extensively with past and present social and cultural trends as well as historical views, which seemed to be at the expense of a rigorous biblical study.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a balanced discussion on some of issues of male headship, especially those (like myself) not familiar with the equal regard view.
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