Beyond Patriarchy: Jewish Fathers and Families

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UPNE, 2000 - Religion - 216 pages
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Is patriarchy necessary to ensure responsible fathering?
Lawrence H. Fuchs, author of Family Matters, argues that the link between male dominance and fatherhood is no longer iron-clad. Analyzing the universality of patriarchy and its incentives for cultural fatherhood, Fuchs concedes that the importance of biological differences between the sexes was a possible, even plausible, basis for the evolution of patriarchy. But in this timely work he imagines a new paradigm of fatherhood for a post-patriarchal age, one inspired by the history of Jewish patriarchy.
Two millennia ago the rabbis established the strategies to curb the extreme abuses of patriarchy found in all civilizations. They did so by according wives significant sexual and economic rights. In the last two centuries as Jews became more integrated into the societies in which they lived, their unique variation of patriarchy was disrupted.
Fuchs argues that the Jewish story sets the precedent for fundamental change in the nature of patriarchy today, thus breaking what may have been the evolutionary connection between male dominance and incentives for fatherhood. It is Fuchs's startling conclusion that the Jewish precedent points to the next step in evolution: fathers without patriarchy.
  

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Contents

Dilemmas of Patriarchy
5
Patriarchy and Cultural Fatherhood
13
Patriarchy as a System of Power
22
The Jewish Patriarchal Paradigm
29
The Sanctification of Lust
42
Patriarchs Who Depend on Wives
55
To Teach the Children Diligently
70
The Jews and Modern Patriarchy
81
Immigrants and Their Children 18801920
101
The Americanization of Fathers 19201960
127
The Erosion of Patriarchy 19602000
140
Beyond Patriarchy?
153
NOTES
171
INDEX
209
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Fuchs is Meyer and Walter Jaffe Professor of American Civilization and Politics at Brandeis University.

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