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Conceiving Parenthood: American Protestantism and the Spirit of Reproduction [Hardcover]

By Amy Laura Hall (Author)
Our Price $ 28.90  
Retail Value $ 34.00  
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Item Number 85016  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   452
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.42" Width: 6.62" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   1.91 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2008
ISBN  0802839363  
EAN  9780802839367  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Presents an analysis of corporate-inspired family ideas that were found in the mainstream media during the twentieth century and their impact on middle-class Protestants.

Publishers Description
Genetic manipulation. Designer babies. Prenatal screening. The genomic revolution. Cutting-edge issues in reproductive bioethics grab our attention almost daily, prompting strong responses from various sides. As science advances and comes ever closer to ?perfect? procreation and ?perfectible? babies, controversy has become a constant in bioethical discussion.

Amy Laura Hall, a self-described pro-life feminist, seeks out the genesis of such issues rather than trying to divine their future. Her disturbing finding is that mainline Protestantism is complicit in the history and development of reproductive biotechnology. Through analysis of nearly 150 images of the family in the mainstream media in the twentieth century, Hall argues that, by downplaying the gratuity of grace, middle-class Protestants, with American culture at large, have implicitly endorsed the idea of justification through responsibly planned procreation. A tradition that should have welcomed all persons equally has instead fostered a culture of ?carefully delineated, racially encoded domesticity.?

The research in Conceiving Parenthood is new, the theory provocative, and the illustrations exceptional. The book is replete with photos and advertisements from popular magazines from the 1930s through the 1950s ? Parents?, Ladies? Home Journal, National Geographic, and so on. Hall's analysis of these ads is startling. Her goal, however, is not simply to startle readers but to encourage new conversations within communities of faith ? conversations enabling individuals, couples, congregations, even entire neighborhoods to conceive of parenthood in ways that make room for families and children who are deemed to be outsidethe proper purview of the right sorts of families.

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More About Amy Laura Hall

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Amy Laura Hall is Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at The Divinity School, Duke University.

Amy Laura Hall has an academic affiliation as follows - Duke University, North Carolina.

Amy Laura Hall has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living   [6082  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent read for anyone (even non-parents!)  Apr 28, 2008
This book is a thought provoking piece on parenthood. Not only is it a must read for parents who are thinking critically about how to bring up children, it is a must read for every community member who helps contribute to the culture in which children live. Amy Laura Hall's arguments are interesting and well-written and the pictures add a visual emphasis to the points she makes.
Eloquently truthful, desperately needed  Apr 3, 2008
I am not quite through with the book yet but a couple of brief observations for those who might be interested in reading "Conceiving Parenthood".
First of all, this book is a much needed (although not always pleasant) probing into the "tabboos" of the Protestant church in the United States. In the church culture where most pew sitters and pulpit fillers are somewhat squeemish when it comes to talking about sex or human body, unless in some general terms, this book is bound to cause some ripples. As it were, Amy Laura Hall carefully inspects not only the family's living room but dares venturing into its bedroom and then raises the covers. And, surprinsingly (or not) she finds that the inner workings of procreation among American Protestants are carefully engineered by the ever increasing demands of consumer economy. The book beautifully exposes the subtle and the blatant ways in which women, especially women, are discipled into seeing their own bodies and the bodies of their infants as objects of continuous improvement that requires careful management through certain products or practices (like Lysol douches or germ-free baby formula).
Yet the most thought provoking observation that Dr. Hall makes is the relationship between well- managed and ill-managed bodies, socio-economics and race. The author persuasively shows how the accpetance into the inner circle - be it in the church, the community or the family -depends on the ability to manage one's body, child and household in the acceptable way that is consistent with the scientific progress and the demands of the market economy. The default setting for this program is suburbian middle class whiteness. The way one gets discipled into being a good citizen, good Christian and good parent that can function within this overarching project of progress and engineered perfection is precisely one of the book's undertakings.
While giving answers is not what this book is up to, one finds themselves wondering after reading it what the alternative might look like and how the church which has been coopted into this project might become a sacred space where these conversations can happen.
Well-written and insightful  Mar 31, 2008
For anyone studying the increasing contraception use by protestants, this book is a must-read. The insights into American pop culture's influence upon the practice of the faithful are profound and necessary. Especially useful is her treatment of birthing and nursing.

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