Let the Children Come Cover

Let the Children Come

Raising children is one of the most highly charged moral and religious events of human life. Although we strive to raise healthy children, negative cultural trends like consumerism, media violence, and erosion of community and extended family conspire to affect our children adversely. We often feel powerless because we lack a specific religious and moral language to talk about these growing concerns.

In this important and much-needed book, theologian, author, and teacher Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore writes about the struggle to raise children with integrity and faithfulness as Christians in a complex postmodern society. Let the Children Come shows that the care of children is in itself a religious discipline and a communal practice that places demands on both congregations and society as a whole. The author calls for clearer and more defined ways in which Christians can respond to the call to nurture all children (not just their own) as manifestations of God’s presence in the world. Miller-McLemore raises and investigates questions that up until now have largely been left unasked, such as: What are the dominant cultural perceptions of children–including religious perceptions–with which parents must grapple? How have Christians defined children and parenting, and how should they today?

The author retrieves a largely lost Christian understanding of children and adult responsibilities for their care, creating a bridge between historical and contemporary theological understanding. Miller-McLemore’s book is unique in drawing on a rich variety of resources in Christianity, feminism, and psychology to examine our understanding of children and their relationship with God and adults’ moral obligations to their care and nurture.

About the Author
Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore is professor of pastoral theology and counseling at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Miller-McLemore is a respected feminist theologian, who has written extensively on cultural and familial issues and religion. A devoted mother of three, she resides in Brentwood, Tennessee.



“Let the Children Come is not only engagingly written and filled with common sense, it is also theologically illuminating and pastorally astute.”
–From the Foreword by Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professor of Theology, Boston College

“This book will help us to live with and care for children with greater understanding, compassion, and respect.”
–Dorothy C. Bass, editor, Practicing Our Faith

“In this appealing book, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore rescues the traditional themes of Christian theology for a positive, practical theology of children and child raising.”
–Rosemary Radford Ruether, Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

“Let the Children Come blends the best insights of sources once thought to be incompatible–the Christian tradition, feminism, and the modern social sciences–all deliciously mixed with Miller-McLemore’s own personal experience of raising children.”
–Don Browning, Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Religious Ethics and the Social Sciences, Divinity School, University of Chicago, and author, Marriage and Modernization

“Let the Children Come is sure to provoke and sustain a conversation between secular and religious mothers that is at once enjoyable and necessary in our culture.”
–Sara Ruddick, author, Maternal Thinking Toward a Politics of Peace and coeditor, Mother Troubles: Reflections on Contemporary Maternal Dilemmas

“Miller-McLemore has written a timely book on a subject of great urgency as Christian churches in the United States struggle to find resources within their traditions for helping children become agents of their own religious lives. Drawing on feminist psychology, cultural criticism, religious history–and on her own experience as a parent–Miller-McLemore offers a compelling rethinking of children’s lives in Christian settings.”
–Robert A. Orsi, Warren Professor of American Religious History, Harvard University

“In lucid, insightful prose, the author both challenges and empowers us for the task of caring for the children of our shared blessing and responsibility. Courageous and illuminating.”
–James W. Fowler, C. H. Candler Professor of Theology and Human Development, and director, The Center for Ethics, Emory University


Publisher : John Wiley & Sons; 1st edition (August 6, 2003)
Language : English
Paperback : 260 pages
ISBN-10 : 0787956651
ISBN-13 : 978-0787956653
Dimensions : 6 x 0.59 x 9 inches


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