Elective presented at the 2023 Priscilla & Aquila Centre research conference.
Speaker: Dani Treweek.
Christian commentators often talk about society suffering from a loss of the “traditional”, “natural”, “biblical” “Christian” family, holding up a model of not just what the Christian family or household should be, but also what it used to be and what it needs to be once more.
But what exactly is meant by these descriptors? What is “traditional” about this form of a household, and exactly how far back does that tradition go? While it might be self-evident that there is something “natural” about family, to what extent is the way that we humans do family also cultural? When we speak of the “biblical” family, what parts of Scripture define what that biblical family or household is, and how do they do that? Furthermore, what makes a household a “Christian” household, as opposed to a “not-Christian” one?
This seminar traces the concept of the household through 3,000 years of history to demonstrate the contingent nature of the human household, and discusses some implications for this finding for the way we think about Christianity and households today.