The Decline of the Family and the Death of Faith

Traditional theories of secularization maintain that religious decline led to the deterioration of the family. Not so, argues Mary Eberstadt in her new book How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization (Templeton Press, 2013). Eberstadt is a leading cultural critic and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. Her books include Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (2012); The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism (2010); and Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes (2005). Recently, Catholic World Report caught up with Eberstadt and discussed the book and the theory of secularization it presents.

CWR: Why did you set out to write this book—what initially triggered your thinking on secularization in the West? Read more…

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2 Responses to The Decline of the Family and the Death of Faith

  1. I will say, as a single female, how alarmed I am at the men of the world in this respect. So many, professing Christian roots and upbringing, want to know two things – frequently on the first date:
    1) would I ever consider co-habitation as a lifestyle
    2) do I want to have children
    These requests seem strange to me – on the one hand there is no commitment and on the second the greatest of all commitments – to have/raise children. I think this life experience of mine is a reflection of this article.

    • They alarm me also, as a Dad of daughters, and I hold you in my mind as a witness to holding rightly high standards to your suitors and the challenges of that in this present cultural context. Thank you!

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