Also A Mother: Work And Family As Theological Dilemma
Also A Mother: Work And Family As Theological Dilemma   -     By: Bonnie Miller-McLemore
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Abingdon Press / 1994 / Paperback
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Also A Mother: Work And Family As Theological Dilemma

Abingdon Press / 1994 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW7110203


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Product Description

As the twentieth century closes, the cry for equality between the sexes is provoking unprecedented conflicts between women and men in the workplace and in the family. Women of all colors and classes continue to carry out an enormous amount of indispenable, unrenumerated caring labor, which at once undergirds and is peripheral to human life, as men have defined it and therefore without value. Also a Mother protests this defined it, and therefore without value. Also a Mother protests this definition of work and value, and claims that beneath the everyday scuffles over gender roles and child care lies an essential religious crisis of work and love. Drawing on her situation as seminary professor and mother of three sons, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore argues that Christian ideals of mother self-sacrifice and fatherly hard work, as they have been interpreted by church tradition and promoted in society at large, not only fail the lives of many people today, but misrepresent both the intent of God's creation and the promise of the gospel message itself. She asks: How might theological doctrines of love, self sacrifice, creation, procreation, vocation, and community better respond to women and men who want to work in fulfilling ways and to love in intimate relationships, including those that involve raising children?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 1994
ISBN: 0687110203
ISBN-13: 9780687110209

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Publisher's Description

As the twentieth century closes, the cry for equality between the sexes is provoking unprecedented conflicts between women and men in the workplace and in the family. Women of all colors and classes continue to carry out an enormous amount of indispensable, unremunerated caring labor, which at once undergirds and is peripheral to human life--as men have defined it--and therefore without value. Also a Mother protests this definition of work and value, and claims that beneath the everyday scuffles over gender roles and child care lies an essential religious crisis of work and love.

Drawing on her situation as seminary professor and mother of three sons, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore argues that Christian ideals of motherly self-sacrifice and fatherly hard work, as they have been interpreted by church tradition and promoted in society at large, not only fail the lives of many people today, but misrepresent both the intent of God's creation and the promise of the gospel message itself. She asks: How might theological doctrines of love, self-sacrifice creation, procreation, vocation, and community better respond to women and men who want to work in fulfilling ways and to love in intimate relationships including those that involve raising children? To answer adequately, theology must seriously entertain what mothers think, feel, desire, and know bodily, in a way that it has failed to do thus far.

The Christian feminist maternal theology that Miller-McLemore proposes challenges the mores of a society that has selectively divided the burdens and rewards of family and work along gender lines, calls for a rereading of biblical and theological traditions that have been wrongly used to uphold this division, and reclaims the values of caring labor for both men and women.

Author Bio

2001 BONNIE J. MILLER-MCLEMORE is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was also a Henry Luce Fellow for the 1999-2000 academic term. Her work has been recognized by the Lilly Foundation's Child in theology project and Family, Religion and Culture project. She has prior experience as a pastoral psychotherapist and chaplain.

Publisher's Weekly

A professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and as a mother, Miller-McLemore has taken on the theological complexities of a major struggle in womanhood, that of vocation versus maternity. The first half of her study traces the silences about, and the male-dominated interpretations of, maternal nurturing as they are employed by many feminists active today in theology, economics and psychology. The second half shares from a more personal level Miller-McLemore's own struggles with the tensions between ``creation and procreation'' and offers ideas and changes that families, congregations, communities and even governments can work toward; for as she points out, ``A theology that does not make room for the demands, responsibilities and joys of relating to children as a fundamental part of life is a theology on the verge of its own demise.'' While this book is theologically an important first, its readers may feel frustrated that it points to the ideal of the village in rearing children rather than to the more realistic problems of a mobile society. (June)

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