Journal Article

Fatherhood, Childism, and the Creation of Society

John Wall

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 75, issue 1, pages 52-76
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online February 2007 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Fatherhood, Childism, and the Creation of Society

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This essay argues for a new religious ethical approach to fatherhood centered on children and their expanding capabilities for participation in society. Under the notion of “childism”—in analogy to feminism, womanism, humanism, and the like—it takes the perspective of the experiences and concerns of childhood as such. In contrast with a soft patriarchal argument for fatherhood that dominates much religious discourse today, it argues for a larger and more hopeful vision of fatherhood as directed toward the human social good. This requires, methodologically, a richer hermeneutical circle between religion and the social sciences. Substantively, it calls for Christian and other religious ethicists to re-imagine fatherhood as an integrated public–private responsibility that aims to cultivate children’s fully human social creativity as images of their Creator.

Journal Article.  8615 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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