front cover of Children and Childhood in American Religions
Children and Childhood in American Religions
Browning, Don S
Rutgers University Press, 2009
Whether First Communion or bar mitzvah, religious traditions play a central role in the lives of many American children. In this collection of essays, leading scholars reveal for the first time how various religions interpret, reconstruct, and mediate their traditions to help guide children and their parents in navigating the opportunities and challenges of American life. The book examines ten religions, among other topics:
  • How the Catholic Church confronts the tension between its teachings about children and actual practic
  • The Oglala Lakota's struggle to preserve their spiritual tradition
  • The impact of modernity on Hinduism

Only by discussing the unique challenges faced by all religions, and their followers, can we take the first step toward a greater understanding for all of us.


front cover of The Promise Keepers
The Promise Keepers
Servants, Soldiers, and Godly Men
Bartkowski, John P
Rutgers University Press, 2004

“Remember the Promise Keepers?” queries a recent media story on the evangelical men’s movement that captured America’s imagination and generated intense controversy during much of the 1990s. This group of Christian men, who promoted adherence to a strict code of conduct that masculinized conservative religious and social values, now evokes little more than a hazy memory of football stadiums teeming with men whose tear-stained faces and clasped arms signaled spiritual transformation. What happened? What factors contributed to their demise? What broader insights can be gleaned from the rapid rise and fall of the movement?

John P. Bartkowski has written the first account scrutinizing the turbulent forces that contributed to the group’s wild popularity, declining fortunes, and current efforts to reinvent itself. He provides a broad and balanced portrait of the movement while evaluating its impact on the landscape of American religion. Bartkowski argues that there are many insights to be gained about the changing contours of American religion, culture, and social life through a study of the Promise Keepers. By carefully examining their character and contagious appeal, Bartkowski provides new insights about evangelicalism, gender, family, therapeutic culture, sport, and multiculturalism.


front cover of Religion, Families, and Health
Religion, Families, and Health
Population-Based Research in the United States
Ellison, Christopher G
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Religion is a major social institution in the United States.  While the scientific community has experienced a resurgence in the idea that there are important linkages between religion and family life and religion and health outcomes, this area of study is still in its early stages of development, scattered across multiple disciplines, and of uneven quality.  To date, no book has featured both reviews of the literature and new empirical findings that define this area for the present and set the agenda for the twenty-first century.  Religion, Families, and Health fills this void by bringing together leading social scientists who provide a theoretically rich, methodologically rigorous, and exciting glimpse into a fascinating social institution that continues to be extremely important in the lives of Americans.

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The Web of Violence
From Interpersonal to Global
Edited by Jennifer Turpin and Lester Kurtz
University of Illinois Press, 1996

Violence is a topic of concern everywhere--in the media, in churches, in the halls of governments. In every land and in every culture violence is considered by most to be taboo, a last resort. Yet under certain conditions, from the level of the family to the level of nations, violence is used as a mechanism of social control. Various rationalizations thus emerge to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate violence.

The Web of Violence explores the interrelationship among personal, collective, national, and global levels of violence. This unique collection brings together a number of internationally known contributors to address the genesis and manifestations of violence in the search for a remedy for this confounding social problem.

As the global community becomes more intimate, we must better understand the nature of violence. The Web of Violence supports this aim by examining the dangerous human phenomenon from many perspectives, at different levels, and using multiple methodologies.

Contributors: Robert Jay Lifton, Christopher G. Ellison, John P. Bartkowski, Yuan-Horng Chu, Philip Smith, Robert Elias, Birgit Brock-Utne, Riane Eisler, Johan Galtung


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