Unification News for December 2002

Book Review - Family Matters: The Role of Christianity in the Formation of the Western Family

Family Matters: The Role of Christianity in the Formation of the Western Family. By Dr. Anthony J. Guerra. Paragon House, 2285 University Avenue West, Suite 200, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 USA. E-mail: info@paragonhouse.com. Phone: (800) 447-3709. www.paragonhouse.com

A visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School, Dr. Guerra examines the unique role that the Christian religion has played in support of family life over the past 2000 years.

He begins by looking at the church's early battles for marriage reform in the first century C.E., which included the curtailment of child abandonment and male abuses of women. He follows with developments in raising and educating children and conflicts that arose with regard to their worth as workers and mill hands.

Dr. Guerra shows how religion, particularly Christianity, has been a major factor in families that functioned well, pointing to specific examples of various Christian groups that have succeeded far better than society generally in countering the trend of deteriorating family units. These diverse groups include Mormons, Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Promise Keepers, and the Unificationists.

Dr. Guerra's observations and conclusions demonstrate that popular thinking and public policy are often effectively hostile to a well functioning family in modern America. He concludes that "faith based families and family based religion are the necessary and achievable cornerstone of a peaceful, abundant, and progressive new millennium for all humankind." Highly recommended.

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