This important book is sure to foster informed public discussion about the death penalty by deepening readers' understanding of how religious beliefs and perspectives shape thiscontentious issue. Featuring a fair, balanced appraisal of its topic, Religion and the Death Penalty brings thoughtful religious reflection to bear on current challenges facing thecapital justice system.
One look at the list of contributors reveals the significance of this book. Here are recognized leaders from the academy, government, and public life who also represent a wide range offaith commitments, including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. Like many people of faith and goodwill, the authors disagree with one another, variously supporting retention, reform, orabolition of capital punishment. As a result, the book presents the most comprehensive and well-rounded religiously oriented discussion of the death penalty available.
Khaled Abou El Fadl
John D. Carlson
Mario M. Cuomo
E. J. Dionne Jr.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J.
Eric P. Elshtain
Richard W. Garnett
Erik C. Owens
George H. Ryan
Glen H. Stassen
Michael L. Westmoreland-White
As early as the 1840s, certain elements of states' policies hinted at a weakening family structure, but not until the 1960s was the family openly attacked. Feminists objected to a male-oriented home economy, demographers encouraged negative population growth, the sexual revolution was on the rise, and religiously grounded morality in public life was challenged in the federal courts. Married couples with children had to shoulder a larger tax burden, further discouraging people from building and maintaining families. Perhaps because family was so central to the founders' lives they found no need to mention it in the Constitution. But today, generational bonds have fractured, while family policy is a paramount public concern.
As Allan Carlson makes clear no nation can progress, or even survive, without a durable family system. Contemporary family policy represents an attempt to counter the negative forces of the last four decades so as to restore the natural family to its necessary place in American life. "Fractured Generations"' chapters follow the life-course of the human family--marriage; the birth of children; infant and toddler care; schooling; building a home; crafting a durable family economy; and elder care. This is a passionate and well-reasoned appeal for a return to the institution that is the last best hope for America's future: the family.
"No social institution is more vital to the perpetuation of civilized life than the family. Yet few institutions have suffered more from the relentless incursions of modernity than the family. And no field of contemporary scholarship has been more politicized and debased than the study of the family. These three facts, taken together, explain why Allan Carlson's humane voice, and his contribution to our national life, is so rare and so valuable. He is our most persuasive advocate for the natural family, one of the few scholars willing to approach the subject with an unapologetically normative view. For him, the family is rightly regarded as the nexus of the profoundest of human experiences: marriage, sexuality, procreation, childrearing, home life, home economics, and the care of the elderly. "Fractured Generations" is not only a succinct defense of that view, but a meaty compilation of particular policy initiatives that can begin to restore the strength and dignity of the natural family and give it the tools to defend itself. It should be read by everyone who cares about the future of the family."-Wilfred M. McClay, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
"A welcome and provocative book of thoughtfully revisionist history and wise prescriptions by an honest, learned man of the Midwest, "Fractured Generations" points the way to a family policy rooted in healthy tradition, American liberty, and human-scale community."Bill Kauffman, author of Dispatches from the "Muckdog Gazette"
""Fractured Generations" is an insightful and provocative account of the history and future of family policy in the United States. Written by one of the wisest observers of the family in America, this book offers timely analyses of topics such as social security, income tax policy, and family planning. This book is required reading for academics, journalists, and policymakers interested in the family."-W. Bradford Wilcox, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia and author of "Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands"
"Allan Carlson is the best writer and thinker on family and society. His essays are always a 'must read' for anyone concerned about the family, be they liberal (to know the strength of their opposition) or conservative (to be led deeper and deeper in an always enjoyable way). With the years his already vast knowledge increases and his insights become more and more unassailable. In "Fractured Generations" he continues and refines his work - his tradition, and concludes with a list of public policy proposals that every Congressman and Senator should have in pocket-card form next to his (or her) heart." -Patrick F Fagan, The Heritage Foundation
"Allan Carlson is an economist deeply immersed in the complexities of social history and public policy. Agree or disagree, his work always provokes and illumines. His recommendations for family-friendly social policy are stated clearly and defended vigorously. Anyone with an interest in marriage, families, and public policy will find Carlson's latest worthy of careful consideration. Let the debate begin!" -Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of "Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy."
Allan Carlson is president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society in Rockford, Illinois, and distinguished fellow in family policy studies at Family Research Council. He is the author of "The Swedish Experiment in Family Politics," "Family Questions," and "The Family in America," all available from Transaction.
Though the national turmoil in family life has unquestionably opened new divides in political life (on the questions of abortion and gay marriage, for instance), this analysis explores the bewildering cross-cutting tensions surrounding these fissures. The search for ways to bridge such fissures takes on particular urgency because of the mounting costs of family disintegration--social and legal, cultural and psychological. Because they recognize the often-desperate plight of single mothers and their children, policymakers have often worked together in bipartisan fashion to intensify government efforts to collect child support from non-custodial fathers, to place abused children in foster care, and to provide shelter for the family fragments on the street.
But these pragmatic government responses to pressing social needs are no substitute for deeper probing into the cultural causes of these needs. Indeed, as the author probes those causes--including the erosion of the home economy, of restraints on sexual conduct, and of the traditional family wage--he warns that continued reliance on government to compensate for family failure will make matters worse in the long run. While family failure puts ever more burdens on government, this investigation shows how such failure withers the selfless civic impulses that sustain any healthy government.
Bryce Christensen is assistant professor of composition in the English Department of Southern Utah University. He is the author of Utopia Against the Family and many articles on cultural and literary issues in various scholarly journals.
In this collection of essays, Isfahan Merali, Valerie Oosterveld, and a team of human rights scholars and activists call for the reintegration of economic, social, and cultural rights into the human rights agenda. The essays are divided into three sections. First the contributors examine traditional conceptualizations of human rights that made their categorization possible and suggest a more holistic rights framework that would dissolve such boundaries. In the second section they discuss how an integrated approach actually produces a more meaningful analysis of individual economic, social, and cultural rights. Finally, the contributors consider how these rights can be monitored and enforced, identifying ways international human rights agencies, NGOs, and states can promote them in the twenty-first century.
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