Brent Waters examines the historical roots and contemporary implications of the virtual disappearance of the family in late liberal and Christian social and political thought. Waters argues that the principal cause of this disappearance is late liberalism's fixation on individual autonomy, which renders familial bonds unintelligible. He traces the history of this emphasis, from its origin in Hobbes and Locke, through Kant, to such contemporary theorists as Rawls and Okin. In response, Waters offers an alternative normative account of the family's role in social and political ordering, drawing upon the work of Althusius, Grotius, Dooyeweerd, and O'Donovan.
a vigorous contribution to dialogue and debate richly grounded in the Christian confession. * Sondra Wheeler, Scottish Journal of Theology * a much needed theological and ethical account of the family in Christian thought... Waters's bold attempt to articulate an intelligent, exvangelical, and relatively conservative understanding the family is very welcome. * Robin Gill, The Journal of Theological Studies * This is a very closely reasoned and researched text with an impressive breadth of information ... I highly commend it as one of the best reference works for those who want an in-depth analysis of the Christian social and political views of the family. * Abigail Rian Evans, Scottish Journal of Theology *