Religion and Family Ethics: A New Strategy for the Church

Citation: 
Browning, Don S. “Religion and Family Ethics: A New Strategy for the Church.” In Work, Family, and Religion in Contemporary Society. Nancy Tatom Ammerman and Wade Clark Roof, eds. Pp. 157-176. New York: Routledge, 1995.
Abstract: 

Convinced that the decline of mainstream Protestantism parallels its failure to develop strong family ministries, and believing that vital Christian mission results from renewed stress in the family field, Don Browning articulates an ethic of love as mutuality and equal-regard that serves as the basis for ministry with the family that extends to the larger world. Building on the work of William D’Antonio, Barbara Hargrove and Louis Janssens, Browning describes this love ethic as comprehending both regard for self (that is, seeking personal autonomy and self-actualization) as well as regard for the other (seeking the autonomy and self-actualization of the other). This ethic of equal-regard operates on the basis of Janssens’ concept of “premoral goods” and takes into consideration life cycle stages and the plurality of family forms that exist today. A family ethic of love as mutuality and equal-regard serves as the platform upon which the church guides families to engage its wider social context.

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