Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 May 2006
In what follows, I will summarise elements of the emerging world debate over the family. I will set forth some of the facts and reasons that suggest this debate is not simply a product of conservative political rhetoric, although at times it is that. I contend that there is an emerging world family crisis, that it is worse in poor countries than in wealthy ones, that it is very debilitating even for rich societies, and that it is an independent variable undermining human wellbeing that is not reducible to poverty,war or natural catastrophe - all of which take their own tolls on families. I also believe that this crisis must be addressed at several levels - first at the religio-cultural level, then at the legal and economic levels, and finally at the level of education and individual development, in that order. This chapter will address primarily the first, the religio-cultural level. Addressing this level of human action is the central task of a practical or transformative Christian theological ethics.
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