How the West Really Lost God

A New Theory of Secularization

How the West Really Lost God

In this magisterial work, leading cultural critic Mary Eberstadt delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world. The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt turns this standard account on its head. Marshalling an impressive array of research, from fascinating historical data on family decline in pre-Revolutionary France to contemporary popular culture both in the United States and Europe, Eberstadt shows that the reverse has also been true: the undermining of the family has further undermined Christianity itself. Drawing on sociology, history, demography, theology, literature, and many other sources, Eberstadt shows that family decline and religious decline have gone hand in hand in the Western world in a way that has not been understood before—that they are, as she puts it in a striking new image summarizing the book’s thesis, “the double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction.” In sobering final chapters, Eberstadt then lays out the enormous ramifications of the mutual demise of family and faith in the West. While it is fashionable in some circles to applaud the decline both of religion and the nuclear family, there are, as Eberstadt reveals, enormous social, economic, civic, and other costs attendant on both declines. Her conclusion considers this tantalizing question: whether the economic and demographic crisis now roiling Europe and spreading to America will have the inadvertent result of reviving the family as the most viable alternative to the failed welfare state—fallout that could also lay the groundwork for a religious revival as well. How the West Really Lost God is both a startlingly original account of how secularization happens and a sweeping brief about why everyone should care. A book written for agnostics as well as believers, atheists as well as “none of the above,” it will permanently change the way every reader understands the two institutions that have hitherto undergirded Western civilization as we know it—family and faith—and the real nature of the relationship between those two pillars of history.

It's Dangerous to Believe

Religious Freedom and Its Enemies

It's Dangerous to Believe

Mary Eberstadt, “one of the most acute and creative social observers of our time,” (Francis Fukuyama) shines a much-needed spotlight on a disturbing trend in American society: discrimination against traditional religious belief and believers, who are being aggressively pushed out of public life by the concerted efforts of militant secularists. In It’s Dangerous to Believe, Mary Eberstadt documents how people of faith—especially Christians who adhere to traditional religious beliefs—face widespread discrimination in today’s increasingly secular society. Eberstadt details how recent laws, court decisions, and intimidation on campuses and elsewhere threaten believers who fear losing their jobs, their communities, and their basic freedoms solely because of their convictions. They fear that their religious universities and colleges will capitulate to aggressive secularist demands. They fear that they and their families will be ostracized or will have to lose their religion because of mounting social and financial penalties for believing. They fear they won’t be able to maintain charitable operations that help the sick and feed the hungry. Is this what we want for our country? Religious freedom is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment. With It’s Dangerous to Believe Eberstadt calls attention to this growing bigotry and seeks to open the minds of secular liberals whose otherwise good intentions are transforming them into modern inquisitors. Not until these progressives live up to their own standards of tolerance and diversity, she reminds us, can we build the inclusive society America was meant to be.

The Family Edge

How Your Biggest Competitive Advantage in Business Isn't What You've Been Taught . . . It's Your Family

The Family Edge

What's the most important asset any entrepreneur or business owner needs to succeed? After more than thirty years consulting for Fortune 100 companies, international organizations, and family businesses around the world, Gibb Dyer confirms that the secret ingredient to business and entrepreneurial success is not an MBA from a great school, a fantastic marketing plan, or even a blue ocean strategy. It's access to three types of capital: financial, social, and human. Dyer's three decades worth of research and data conclude statistically that the most effective and successful entrepreneurs have immediate access to these three—all within their family. A groundbreaking book for any business owner, family business, or budding entrepreneur, The Family Edge provides clear evidence and powerful tools to help you leverage the asset you need but have probably not paid enough attention to: family capital.

To Whom Does Christianity Belong?

Critical Issues in World Christianity

To Whom Does Christianity Belong?

To Whom Does Christianity Belong? is a question that is asked throughout the world today. In this exciting volume, an anchor to the Understanding World Christianity series, Dyron B. Daughrity helps readers map out the major changes that have taken place in recent years in the world’s largest religion. By comparing trends, analyzing global Christian movements, and tracing the impact of Pentecostalism, interreligious dialogue, global missions, sexuality, birth rates, women, secularization, and migratory trends, Daughrity sketches a picture of a changing religion and gives the tools needed to understand it.

The Last Homily: Conversations with Fr. Arne Panula

The Last Homily: Conversations with Fr. Arne Panula

The Last Homily captures with poignant authenticity the dying thoughts of a brilliant priest who dedicated his life to bringing others to God: Fr. Arne Panula, of Washington DC’s fabled Catholic Information Center. Recorded with Fr. Arne’s permission during his months in hospice care, his exchanges with noted author Mary Eberstadt expound on the Church and history, art and music, books and ideas, as well as on more immediate questions about how the faithful should live, how they should work, and how they can best help to build the Kingdom on earth. Via this gift to posterity, Fr. Arne’s spiritual guidance is no longer limited to those who knew him, but extends to generations of the present and future.

Primal Screams

How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

Primal Screams

Who am I? The question today haunts every society in the Western world. Legions of people--especially the young--have become unmoored from a firm sense of self. To compensate, they join the ranks of ideological tribes spawned by identity politics and react with frenzy against any perceived threat to their group. As identitarians track and expose the ideologically impure, other citizens face the consequences of their rancor: a litany of "isms" run amok across all levels of cultural life; the free marketplace of ideas muted by agendas shouted through megaphones; and a spirit of general goodwill warped into a state of perpetual outrage. How did we get here? Why have we divided against one another so bitterly? In Primal Screams, acclaimed cultural critic Mary Eberstadt presents the most provocative and original theory to come along in recent years. The rise of identity politics, she argues, is a direct result of the fallout of the sexual revolution, especially the collapse and shrinkage of the family. As Eberstadt illustrates, humans from time immemorial have forged their identities within the structure of kinship. The extended family, in a real sense, is the first tribe and first teacher. But with its unprecedented decline across a variety of measures, generations of people have been set adrift and can no longer answer the question Who am I? with reference to primordial ties. Desperate for solidarity and connection, they claim membership in politicized groups whose displays of frantic irrationalism amount to primal screams for familial and communal loss. Written in her impeccable style and with empathy rarely encountered in today's divisive discourse, Eberstadt's theory holds immense explanatory power that no serious citizen can afford to ignore. The book concludes with three incisive essays by Rod Dreher, Mark Lilla, and Peter Thiel, each sharing their perspective on the author's formidable argument.

Convictional Civility

Engaging the Culture in the 21st Century, Essays in Honor of David S. Dockery

Convictional Civility

Respected Christian leaders honor David S. Dockery in this volume by presenting essays that explore "convictional civility" as as a vision for contemporary cultural engagement and as a lifestyle of bearing witness for Christ and contributing to the common good.

Turnaround at Home

Giving a Stronger Spiritual Legacy Than You Received

Turnaround at Home

God Has a Purpose for Your Family Turnaround at Home is a guide to creating a God-honoring home for your kids, no matter what model you had as you grew up. Drawing from their own inspiring stories, the authors: Help you understand your emotional, spiritual, and social background Give biblical encouragement for creating positive cycles in marriage and parenting Offer 50 practical ideas for becoming intentional as couples, parents of young children, parents of teens, and grandparents Family patterns can be renewed in your generation. Turnaround at Home will help you make changes for good—starting at home.

Rebels with Insufficient Cause

Americans of African Descent, the Victim Mentality, and Value Formation through the Family

Rebels with Insufficient Cause

Why are Americans of African descent, as a group, not flourishing like other racial groups in America? Dr. J. M. Sparrow, in Rebels with Insufficient Cause, proposes that value formation through the biblical model of the family is lacking. The secular world is redefining and reinterpreting the social structures that God created in order for humans to enjoy maximum human flourishing. Every person or social group that chooses to ignore God’s designs for humanity will experience chaos, but every person and social group that submits to God’s designs for humanity will experience order. Americans of African descent are experiencing that chaos in greater measure than any other racial group. Since this book holds to a biblical worldview that teaches that all humans are created equal, Americans of African descent are not inherently more debased than other races. However, since the out-of-wedlock birth rate is astronomically higher in black communities than in others, they are experiencing a greater share of the chaos. Yet all is not lost. When Americans of African descent begin to hold up the truths of the Bible as normative and encourage future generations to practice the same, things will begin to turn around. Americans of African descent must choose to reject the victim mentality, see themselves as part of the larger American culture rather than as outsiders, and inculcate biblical values on their children in the midst of loving, supportive, and God-honoring family units.

God is Good for You

A defence of Christianity in troubled times

God is Good for You

The Judeo-Christian tradition has created and underpinned the moral and legal fabric of Western civilisation for more than 2000 years, yet now we've reached a point in both Australia and many parts of the West where Christianity has become a minority faith rather than the mainstream belief. It's a situation that's fraught both for Christians and our wider society, where the moral certainties that were the foundation of our institutions and laws are no longer held by the majority. At this point of crisis for faith, God is Good for You shows us why Christianity is so vital for our personal and social well-being, and how modern Christians have never worked so hard to make the world a better place at a time when their faith has never been less valued. It carries a vital torch for Christianity in a way that's closely argued, warmly human, good humoured yet passionate, and, above all, convincing.