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The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Youth, Family, and Culture) Paperback – August 1, 2010


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The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Youth, Family, and Culture) + Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce + The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study
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Product Details

  • Series: Youth, Family, and Culture
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801039142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801039140
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Winsomely written, achingly honest, and fearlessly hopeful. Root's analysis of divorce as an ontological--not just a sociological--crisis for children is dead-on, as is his advice for congregations who must name and address this soul-splitting reality. With his incomparable ability to blend story and theology, Root delivers a beautiful and wise book that is for anyone touched by divorce."--Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Andrew Root's insightful analysis gives voice to my own journey as a child of divorce, and to the experiences of countless others I've observed. This book beautifully integrates the ontological pain of divorce with the redemptive power of Christ and the church."--Kara E. Powell, Fuller Youth Institute, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Divorce leaves a cloud of dust that never settles. And those of us who love and care for kids need to pay special attention to the growing number of children who undergo this experience. As one who has lived in the dust, Root raises the right issues, challenging us to think more deliberately and carefully about what it means to minister to, parent, and befriend the children of divorce."--Walt Mueller, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"Youth workers have always known that the impact of divorce on kids was substantially deeper than pop culture would want us to believe, and now thankfully Root tells us why this is true. Reading Children of Divorce felt like sitting with Root--precariously, uncomfortably--in the three-way intersection of history, psychology, and theology."--Mark Oestreicher, speaker; consultant; author, Youth Ministry 3.0

"This fascinating study argues that the pain experienced by children of divorced parents cannot be healed by legal, psychological, 'religious,' or other techniques. An affliction that attacks the ontological foundations of the self can only be assuaged by the acquisition of new sources of being. And so Root probes how the Christian faith and community can help locate these sources. He demonstrates an unusual combination of human compassion and theological wisdom."--Douglas John Hall, McGill University

"Our culture says divorce is 'normal,' but the existential consequences for children of divorce--like myself--are not a normal aspect of human development. With compassion, wisdom, and theological insight, Root calls for the church to become a community in which young people are able to ground their being and process the painful loss of family security."--Mark W. Cannister, Gordon College

About the Author

Andrew Root (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is well connected in the professional youth ministry world. He is the author of Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry (a finalist for Outreach magazine's outreach book of the year) and has published many articles and chapters.

More About the Author

Hey, my name is Andrew Root (I go by Andy), I teach classes on youth ministry, young adults, family, church, and culture (all with a deep theological bent) at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. I've written ten books that are out (and two on the way). You can see those below. I live in St. Paul, my wife Kara is a Presbyterian minister and we have two kids (Owen and Maisy) and two dogs (that destroy my yard). When I'm not teaching and writing I watch a ton of TV and movies and I'm a huge Twins, Wild, and Gopher hockey fan. Check out my webpage, find me on Facebook, or follow me on twitter.

www.andrewroot.org
www.facebook.com/andrew-root
www.twitter.com/rootandrew

Customer Reviews

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The reader can see how this has huge implications for the children of divorce.
Life Long Reader
As a pastor and child of divorced parents, this book is the best treatise I have read on the effects of divorce on children and adult children.
yukonjoe
Authentic, true-to-life and packed with anecdotal examples, this is a powerful and immediately useful book.
Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joel Mayward on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
As I write this review, I cannot help but draw connections between my own story and Andrew Root's newest book, "The Children of Divorce."

Root's premise is that divorce is not only a sociological or psychological upheaval, but that at its roots has ontological implications. Divorce affects our very sense of being in the world. Root writes:

"It is my belief that our humanity (and very being) is upheld in community. For each of us, the most significant and core of these communities is the one made up of a biological mother and father. Without their community, there would be no child. So when that community is destroyed, it is a threat to the child's being. Divorce, therefore, should be seen as not just the split of a social unity, but the break of the community in which the child's identity rests. Divorce is much more than a psychological or sociological reality. It is about something deeper than economic advantage, psychological stability, or social capital. Divorce is a threat to a child's very ontology, to his or her very being."

Root offers a history of the family as a social unit, revealing that our current societal norms creates a culture ripe for divorce. In the past, marriage was based around kin, location, and economic motives; in our present day, marriage's foundation is generally around an emotional choice between two lovers, a choice that can just as easily be unchosen. Living in this risky world, children must live with the reality that their family--and thus their very sense of being--could be uprooted at any moment. Root reveals the ontological effects of divorce with a comprehensive look at the sense of self through the multifaceted lens of philosophy (Martin Heidegger), social theory (Anthony Giddens), and theology (Karl Barth).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Life Long Reader on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
While the statistics on how many marriages end in divorce are often inflated (especially for Christians), there is no way to underestimate the effects it has on the children of divorce. While one or both parties in the marriage are hurt through the divorce the children are hurt the worst. The parents have the power of choice in their hands and the children are, in a very real sense, powerless victims of that choice.

Too often in the discussion of how to help children of divorce the focus is on how these children can be healed by intervening in their lives through social, educational and psychological help. According to Andrew Root this is fatally flawed and very short sighted. In his book The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being, Root persuasively argues that divorce rips through the soul of a child and has its greatest damage on their being.

Root argues that the identity of a person is shaped by the community in which they grow up in. The family unit (made of father and mother) is the foundational community (the community within community) in which a child's identity is shaped. When that biological community is torn apart so is the child's identity. The result is that the children of divorce experience a true identity crisis. Root states

"The child is because of the union of his or her biological parents. Without them he or she is not. When divorce, separation, or extended absence occurs the biological parents say, possibly with words definitely with actions, that they desire for their union to no longer be. But the child is the result of their union; the child has his or her primary being in relation to the community called family (p. xvii).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By yukonjoe on August 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pastor and child of divorced parents, this book is the best treatise I have read on the effects of divorce on children and adult children. It is insightful but also a hard read because it speaks the truth. Ultimately, in its last chapter, the author provides helpful guidance for churches, pastors, teachers, friends, and parents to help children of divorce and to validate and listen to their experiences. I found the book to be so true to my experience that I have since recommended it often and will apply its findings in my own ministry with children of divorced parents. It is a must read for parents and for pastors and sounds the alarms on the effects of divorce on the family, which are not only psychological. The advice given in the last chapter gives hope to what is a common yet urgent experience for so many children and teens today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris St.Clair on October 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book that provided insight into divorce. Though I am not through yet, this book provides insight into how kids respond and react psychologically and socially to divorce. I would recommend this book for Youth workers, pastors, and all people who work with children.
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