By Rosemary Radford Ruether
Popular theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether analyzes the methods the Christian church has traditionally interacted with strong social structures comparable to patriarchy, racism, slavery, and environmentalism, whereas taking a look severely at how the church shapes those structures this present day. With a spotlight at the usa, Christianity and Social structures presents an introductory research of the interactions among the church buildings and significant platforms that experience formed western Christian and post-Christian society.
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Extra resources for Christianity and Social Systems: Historical Constructions and Ethical Challenges
The potestas, or power of the father, gave him theoretically unlimited power over all those under his paternal power, including his children and his slaves. 30 Flogging boys at school was regarded as normal treatment. St. 31 Slaves could be flogged even to death, executed, or sold at the whim of the master. The interrogation of slaves always took place under torture. By contrast, the adult male Roman citizen was not to be tortured and when sentenced to death was given the prerogative of taking his own life.
But this judgment itself becomes conflicted as Christians split along liberal–conservative lines that often lead them to focus on different understandings of desirable public morality. Conservative Christian churches seek political influence to enforce what they see as the key issues of public morality, such as banning abortion and marriage between homosexuals and mandating school prayer. Liberal churches, by contrast, focus on the rights of racial and sexual minorities, supporting equal rights for blacks, women, and homosexuals.
In the late nineteenth century, it was widely assumed that there were fixed stages of the evolution of the family, starting with chaotic promiscuity, then proceeding to a stage of matriarchy, or female domination, that was then succeeded by patriarchy, or male domination. 1 In the 1920s, these theories of fixed stages were rejected by most Western anthropologists. Anthropologists adopted more empirical methods, studying different societies case by case. In the 1960s, anthropologists generally insisted that there had never been a matriarchal society where women ruled.
Christianity and Social Systems: Historical Constructions and Ethical Challenges by Rosemary Radford Ruether