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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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From the Back Cover
"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
Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
I appreciate how he, does not seek give a guilt-trip to parents, but writes this book in such a way to empower the readers to understand deeply what goes on inside the children of divorce. I would recommend this to anyone who is a child of divorce. If I was a divorced parent reading, it would be difficult not to feel ashamed at the damage I was causing my children. On the other hand, a divorcee needs to know how to best approach their hurting children. I am not accustomed to philosophical language, but Root did pretty good on explaining it. The Kindle version was helpful due to the installed dictionary. Also, don't skip to the last chapter, until you've read the previous ones first. In order to experience the fullest healing, we must first understand the depth of our wounds. My one critique would be I was expecting more from last chapter on practical application. I've kinda just decided I need to continue sifting through my internal pain and anguish, while seeking Christ and community for ontological healing and wholeness.
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book that delves deep into how divorce really affects children and goes beyond the typical school of thought.Published 4 months ago by Seemore Scores
very inciteful book,, a good read for parents and kids if old enoughPublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
insightful book- a must read, especially if you work with youth, or have experienced divorce in your family.Published 23 months ago by ali ferin
Divorce experience came into Andrew Roots family. He made the choice to learn the situations of others. We victims of divorce experience a void--an unresolved problem. Read morePublished on December 8, 2012 by Old Philosopher
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... Read morePublished on October 23, 2010 by Chris St.Clair