American Families of Faith

American Families of Faith

Drawing on a diverse group of religious families in America, this podcast seeks to inspire a deeper understanding of varied religious families, greater human unity, and inter-religious dialogue. We explore how religious families draw on their spiritual beliefs, religious practices, and faith communities to help them strengthen their marital relationships and their parenting. We desire to bless “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:3) as we share what we have discovered. Join us for future episodes where we discuss the strengths in diverse American families of faith. This podcast features conversations about faith and family life between the Co-directors of the American Families of Faith project (http://AmericanFamiliesofFaith.byu.edu) Dr. David Dollahite and Dr. Loren Marks. This podcast is edited, syndicated, and marketed by Laura McKeighen, the Intellectual Products Coordinator for the American Families of Faith project.

Episodes

September 9, 2022 22 min

"The balance between parents’ profound desires for children to remain faithful and their simultaneous desire to honor their children’s agency showed up over and over in our own American Families of Faith project. As we’ve probed deeper into parents’ wishes to have their children remain in their religion, we discovered different ways parents navigated this significant wrestle."

 

Laura McKeighen reads the article, "Will ...

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Dr. Loren Marks, co-director of the American Families of Faith project, reflects on his "holy envy" for Asian Christian families in the United States. Their courage to embrace change in a new land, sincerely follow their beliefs, and serve through pragmatic collectivism are a few of the strengths to be admired among the Asian Christian community.

This podcast features conversations about faith and family life between the co...
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Dr. David Dollahite, co-director of the American Families of Faith project, shares his thoughts on the familial power of sacred rituals among Jewish families. Through many wonderful experiences of participating in Shabbat observance with Jewish families, he has developed a deep sense of "holy envy." 

This podcast features conversations about faith and family life between the co-directors of the American Families of Faith pr...
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"The term holy envy was developed by the late Krister Stendahl, who was Dean of the Harvard Divinity School and then Church of Sweden Bishop of Stockholm. This concept is core to the multi-faith research my colleagues and I do in the American Families of Faith project.

"At the end of the semester, students write a paper on holy envy. This assignment asks students to “List and briefly discuss the 5 most important, personally...

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Dr. Loren Marks and Dr. David Dollahite, co-directors of the American Families of Faith project, share thoughts about how their study of various families of faith has led them to a sense of deep admiration or “holy envy” for religious practices from other faiths.

The "empathy wall" is an obstacle to a deep understanding of someone else that can make us feel indifferent or even hostile to those that hold different beliefs....

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"The diverse families of faith we have interviewed practiced a wide range of religious rituals and activities at home. These practices reportedly deepened their faith in God and strengthened their sense of connection with their family members. Such patterns of home-based worship take on pointed relevance in our current COVID-19 context where houses of worship have been closed. 

"Prayer, studying scripture, singing hymns, li...

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"In my experience, both 9/11 and COVID-19 involve grief over profound losses, anxieties and fears about the future, suspicions of others, and divisions across political lines, as well as increased prayers for self and others, increased desire to understand those who are suffering or are different, and greater efforts to build bridges across various divides."

"To encourage hope during these difficult times, I would like ...

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Why the American Families of Faith Project: Enriching & Strengthening Families

In the social sciences there tends to be a focus on weaknesses and why things go wrong. The American Families of Faith Project brings a much needed balance to the study of marriages and families by focusing on the features and origins of relational strengths and health. 

 

This podcast features conversations about faith and family life between the ...
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"A large body of social science research indicates that high levels of healthy religiosity provide many personal and relational benefits that merely nominal levels of religious belief and involvement does not. To settle for the dangerous single story that religion is bad may be at least as unfortunate as the provincial narrative that religion is an unmitigated good. Our carefully measured, double story is that high levels of he...

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"Religious gatherings often bring a sense of peace and safety, but in this case, religious gatherings can spread the very virus everyone hopes they and their loved ones will avoid. Whether you believe that houses of worship should remain open during this trying time, or that they should close, our research has found that meaningful religious practice at home is both possible and beautiful."

 

David Dollahite reads the artic...

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"For two decades, we have interviewed religious wives and husbands in long-term happy marriages and we asked them how they kept their love alive. We heard relational and religious answers that reflected a variety of wisdom.

"Like most Americans of our generations (X and the Boomers), we also grew up hearing the voices of classic rock and roll. Rock also has its own kind of wisdom about keeping love alive—though often profan...

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"Catholic thinker Michael Novak locates the myth of romantic love in our unfulfilled passion. He distinguishes romantic love from an embodied, other-oriented Christian love. But it’s worth exploring the possibility that elements of the same basic human desire lie at the core of both: a deep and abiding need for profound and lasting—indeed eternal—emotional and spiritual intimacy, the dream of shared meaning and unified fulfillm...

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"In December, articles and blogs address various aspects of Christmas. We would like to address another important December event for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—tithing settlement. While few people have as many positive nostalgic memories of tithing settlement as they do of Christmas, there are profound spiritual aspects of tithing as a way of giving back to God in gratitude for what God has given...

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"The research . . . suggests evidence-based best practices for effectively integrating faith and family life, including religious-spiritual authenticity, nurturing parent-child relationships, balancing religious firmness and flexibility, and encouraging youth to have spiritual experiences, sacrifice meaningfully, and pray earnestly—all while parents preach a bit less and listen a bit more."

 

David Dollahite reads the artic...

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"Over the past 25 years, we have interviewed more than 300 diverse fathers about the challenges and blessings of striving to be a faithful father. From thousands of pages of transcriptions and field notes we have gleaned 10 insights that have left us pondering the world’s most profound job: that of parent."

 

Loren Marks reads the article, "Faithful Fathering: Ten Narratives of Wisdom from Fathers of Different Faiths...

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"In reference to those of different faiths, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Look for their strengths and their virtues, and you will find strength and virtues that will be helpful in your own life.” In striving to live a good, faithful life and foster loving family relationships in an ever-changing world, there is indeed much strength and virtue that we can gain from our Jewish friends and their examples."

 

David Dolla...

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"[We asked religious Christian, Muslim, and Jewish parents of adolescents], “What do you consider to be the most important things for you to be or do as a mother/father of faith?” [We found] that both mothers and fathers have similar desires to be good examples. Mothers and fathers of faith both reportedly rely on their religion to show them what (and how) they should try to be. Parents reportedly strived to model their relatio...

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"We’ve all heard that familiar saying, “the family that prays together, stays together.” How does the nature and experience of family prayer create strong families? What can we learn from families that pray together?"

David Dollahite reads the article, "Family Prayer: A Sacred Time and A Sacred Space – Findings from a National Study" which was originally published in Meridian Magazine on March 24, 2019.

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"Drawing from the diverse families who taught us, we explore, explain, and illustrate why sacred family rituals matter, with the hope that your family and ours will more effectively harness this power in our own homes and families."

Loren Marks reads the article, "The Abiding Power of Sacred Family Rituals" which was originally published in Meridian Magazine on August 16, 2018.

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"When Father’s Day rolls around each year, we think about what to get dad—what gift to offer our father. Advertisements abound for the perfect gift: a cool tie; something related to his favorite hobby; a barbeque so he can grill up burgers and steaks; and many others. Those kinds of gifts are fine. But I want to suggest something different."

David Dollahite reads the article, "A Meaningful Gift for Your Father" whic...

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