Book Review

American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope with Modernization and Democracy

This daily feature is an introduction to a full book review by Loren Marks. To read the full text of this review, follow the link below.

This fifteen-chapter volume addresses two key questions: (a) How do various American religions negotiate the pressures of modernization, such as technology, the speed of life, and consumerism? and (b) How do various American religions wrestle with challenging aspects of democracy, such as heightened individualism, the social reconstruction of morality, and the waning acceptance of traditional authority? Chapter-length responses to these questions are offered by a carefully selected array of social scientists, historians, theologians, and legal scholars.

The volume is stimulating, readable, and relevant. The lead editor, Don S. Browning, summarily states, "Studies about the effect of religious thought and behavior on American society have never been more timely or more important. People around the world are discovering that recent global political and economic events cannot be understood in their fullness without comprehending something about religion." Indeed, a working knowledge of the relationships between cultures and religions is important, and this book offers much to facilitate that understanding.