This conference was a report to the nation. It presented key findings of the Project's twelve books to over 200 religion and family leaders. Those attending represented both liberal and conservative organizations and were an even mix of pastors, scholars, and research institute leaders. The purpose was to model and foster a national conversation on religion and the family that could begin to develop a constructive middle ground mediating the cultural polarity of liberal and conservative views.
The conference asked: What are the key different directions North American denominations have gone with their family theologies? What can different faith traditions learn from one another? What do ancient Judaism and early Christianity really say about families? What is happening to family law in the United States, and how should it concern churches? What can churches do to address the economic pressures on family life? What about the relation of feminism to religion and the family? Are they compatible? How can American Christianity and Judaism creatively address family issues in the future?
Daniel Yankelovich gave a Keynote Address titled "Current Trends in American Cultural Values." (His remarks were published in Criterion, volume 35, number 3, Autumn 1996.) Daniel Yankelovich is founder and chairman of DYG, Inc., a public opinion research firm. He was the founder of the New York Times/CBS Poll, and is the author of nine books and numerous essays.
Clarence Page gave an Address titled "Current Public Policy in the American Family Debate." Clarence Page is a nationally known, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Author of the 1996 book Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity, he is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune newspaper and a regular contributor on television to the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the McLaughlin Group, and Black Entertainment Television.
1. Faith Traditions: How Have Denominations Entered the Family Debate?
David Daniels III, McCormick Theological Seminary
Rev. Thomas Baima, Archdiocese of Chicago
Rodney Clapp, Intervarsity Press
Joe Leonard, National Council of Churches of Christ
Don Browning, The University of Chicago Divinity School
Sidney Callahan, Mercy College
Rabbi Hayim Perelmuter, Catholic Theological Union
James Nelson, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
Cheryl Sanders, Howard University School of Divinity
4. Family and Social Institutions: Law and Economics
Lisa Sowle Cahill, Boston College
Jean Bethke Elshtain, The University of Chicago Divinity School
David Neff, Christianity Today
Martin Marty, The University of Chicago Divinity School
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