Fathers' Liberation Ethics

A Holistic Ethical Advocacy

for Active Nurturant Fathering

by Gary Ritner, Ph.D.

Published by
University Press of America
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
(301) 459-3366
Fax (301) 459-2118


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Gary Ritner's Academic Background:

Ph.D. in Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 1981.

M.Phil. in Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 1977.

M.Div. in Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 1974.

B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV, 1971.

Taught "Christian Ethics in Urban Ministry," Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Winter, 1992.

Taught "Ethics and Social Justice Issues," United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Fall, 1990.

Served as Director of Economic and Social Justice, Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church, Minnesota Annual Conference, 1986-1993.

Contracted to teach "Contemporary Theology," Hamline University, Fall, 1986.

Taught "Modes of Ministry," United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Winter, 1985.

Taught "Religious Social Ethics," St. John's University School of Theology, Winter, 1985.

Lectured on Medical Ethics, Concern for Dying, New York City, 1980-81.

Served as Graduate Assistant for "The Church in the Urban Context," Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 1977-79.

Taught courses in Adult Education, The Riverside Church, New York City, 1972-80.

Organized community action programs, Child and Family Justice Project, National Council of Churches, New York City, 1978-79.


"Fathers' Liberation Ethics advocates more active nurturant fathering by fathers to heal the heart of a society at large as well as fathers themselves. It is written for fathers who are casual readers seeking greater understanding of their own quest to be better fathers, for those who need them, and for researchers of fathering issues (who will appreciate the 72 pages of bibliography).Written by a religious social ethicist, this book analyzes the failures of previous attempts to increase father-involvement and develops a holistic strategy to assure greater success in transforming the society into one where men share equally with women in child-care-giving. In addition to drawing upon political and human sciences, the author taps sources of imagination, mythology, and faith that can empower men to ascend to the heights of fulfillment in parenting and to fathom the depths of the responsibilities of parenthood."

"The more things change, the more they stay the same. As I raise my third family in the new millenium, now with an infant and a toddler; I keep thinking that men have not changed a lot and the issues are more urgent than they were almost ten years ago when I wrote this book. It is as fresh a subject and as urgent as it was then .. maybe more because so little has changed in human hearts to improve the situation......" Gary Ritner, Summer 2001

If you would like to read a free sample of Fathers' Liberation Ethics, click here to read (and/or download) Chapter Four on motivating myths for more active nurturant fathering.

Fathers' Liberation Ethics

A Holistic Ethical Advocacy

for Active Nurturant Fathering

by Gary Ritner, Ph.D.

1992

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v INTRODUCTION xi CHAPTER ONE: A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL ROLES 1 IS THE TRADITIONAL FATHER REALLY FAIR? 10 IS BIOLOGY REALLY DESTINY? 17 ARE MEN AND WOMEN VERY DIFFERENT IN THEIR CAPACITIES TO NURTURE CHILDREN? 19 ARE MEN AND WOMEN VERY DIFFERENT IN THEIR CAPACITIES FOR SUCCESS IN PAID EMPLOYMENT? 24 CHAPTER TWO: A CRITIQUE OF THE ABSENT FATHER 29 FINDING BALANCE IN PARENTING 30 FINDING FATHERS AT WORK AND PLAY 40 FINDING THE DISPARITIES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN 47 FINDING THE SOCIALIZATION FOR ABSENCE 51 CHAPTER THREE: A MORAL AGRUMENT FOR ANF 57 ANF AS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE BY FATHERS 62 ANF AS EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN 65 ANF AS NURTURANCE WITH CHILDREN 73 ANF AS CAUSE WITH EFFECTS 77 CHAPTER FOUR: MOTIVATING MYTHS FOR ANF 85 Read this chapter. THE MYTH OF EQUALITY 86 THE MYTH OF WHOLENESS 92 THE MYTH OF GOD'S LOVE 101 THE MYTH OF FIERCE LOVE 114 CHAPTER FIVE: REBIRTH FOR ANF 123 OVERCOMING ALIENATION FROM THE PROCESS OF REPRODUCTION 132 GOING BEYOND REPRODUCING TRADITIONAL ROLES 137 INITIATING STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE 140 CHAPTER SIX: DO WORK INNOVATIONS PROMOTE ANF? 145 DO PART-TIME JOBS PROMOTE ANF? 147 DOES FLEXITIME PROMOTE ANF? 153 DOES PARENTAL LEAVE PROMOTE ANF? 157 DOES THE ENTRY OF WOMEN INTO THE LABOR FORCE PROMOTE ANF? 163 CHAPTER SEVEN: BRINGING BACK THE BANISHED FATHER 175 DIVORCED AND BANISHED FATHERS 176 CHILD CUSTODY IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 179 BEYOND BEYOND 182 THE CASE FOR JOINT CUSTODY 185 CONCLUSION: THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL FATHER 197 BIBLIOGRAPHY 201 INDEX 275

gary@garyritner.org

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