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Beyond Biology

Rethinking Parenthood in the Catholic Tradition

Beyond Biology

Rethinking Parenthood in the Catholic Tradition

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Hardback

£112.50

Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781647121129
Number of Pages: 278
Published: 01/11/2021
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.9 cm
A breakthrough in the theology of parenthood, integrating Catholic social thought and social scientific studies of child well-being in order to offer a more diverse and inclusive interpretation The Catholic Church has a long and diverse history of tolerating various child-rearing arrangements. The dominant Catholic framework for conceptualizing parenthood, however, is highly influenced by concerns over sexual ethics and gender norms. While sexual and reproductive ethics are important, the present consensus that theological consideration of parenthood necessarily hinges on these matters diverts attention from actual parenting practices in their social and cultural contexts. In reality, kinship and caregiving are often negotiated in complex ways. In Beyond Biology, Jacob M. Kohlhaas uses a historical and interdisciplinary theological method that engages both analytically and appreciatively with tradition to sketch a broader Catholic anthropology of parenthood. Kohlhaas's identification of interpretive options within the Catholic tradition creates room for meaningful, intellectually convincing, and theologically rich responses to challenges facing Catholic parents and families today. By marshaling the diversity of the Christian tradition and exploring contemporary research in the social sciences and humanities, Kohlhaas frames a theological conversation on parenthood as parenthood-considering the needs and well-being of children as well as the potentials and capabilities of adult caregivers. In his discussion, Kohlhaas considers adoption and nonbiological parenthood, fathers as primary caregivers and nurturers, caregiving by siblings and grandparents, and communal parenting and coparenting beyond the spousal pair. In Kohlhaas's view, conceptions of parenthood should be guided by the meaning of Christian kinship rooted in baptism as well as concern for the actual caregiving capacities of adults and the needs of children.

Jacob M. Kohlhaas

Jacob M. Kohlhaas is an associate professor of moral theology at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He received his PhD from Duquesne University in 2015 and has published on parenthood and the family in a number of leading journals.

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