The Children of Divorce

The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being

by Andrew Root (Author)Chap Clark (Editor)
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"Winsomely written, achingly honest, and fearlessly hopeful. Root's analysis of divorce as an ontological--not just a sociological--crisis for children is dead-on, as is his advice for congregations who must name and address this soul-splitting reality. With his incomparable ability to blend story and theology, Root delivers a beautiful and wise book that is for anyone touched by divorce."--Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary

"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 The 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


Andrew Root, Author

Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has written extensively about youth ministry. He is the author of numerous books, including Faith Formation in a Secular Age, The Pastor in a Secular Age, Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker, The Children of Divorce, Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, and Relationships Unfiltered, and the coauthor (with Kenda Creasy Dean) of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry.

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Chap Clark, Editor