Fathers & Faith

Faith Improvised

Mark Oppenheimer has a review in the NY Times of Vern Bengston’s book, Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations.

It looks like a fascinating work. As Oppenheimer reports:

In 1969, shortly after being hired at U.S.C., Professor Bengtson began a study of 350 families, whom he interviewed regularly until 2008. In some families, he interviewed four generations. In all, his respondents were born in years spanning 1878 to 1989.

Professor Bengtson’s project yielded more than 200 articles, many focused on aging and intergenerational conflict, topics on which he has become an expert. Now, at last, he is ready to draw some conclusions about religion, the issue that got him started.

Bengston

I found this passage particularly interesting, having to do with the effect of fathers on the faith of children:

But Professor Bengtson’s major conclusion is that family bonds matter. Displays of parental piety, like “teaching…

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