cover image In Good Faith: Secular Parenting in a Religious World

In Good Faith: Secular Parenting in a Religious World

Maria Polonchek. Rowman & Littlefield, $34 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4422-7066-4

Poet and essayist Polonchek, having been pushed away from religion by the fire-and-brimstone theology of her Christian youth, revels in her identity as an “apostate” and secular humanist: “Because my identity as a child was so rooted in the religion given to me, my identity as an adult is rooted in my deconversion.” Polonchek notes that roughly 80% of Americans identify as religious and that most rely on religious institutions to help educate their children, but then wonders how nonreligious families will provide for the moral formation of their families. Embarking on a mission to fill this gap, she synthesizes the work of Dale McGowan (Parenting Beyond Belief), Arnold van Gennep (The Rites of Passage), and Lawrence Kohlberg and Jean Piaget, as well as the fresh, hilarious musings of Neil Carter on his blog, Godless in Dixie. Religion may have failed Polonchek, but her well-researched, swiftly moving exploration of the development of morality, meaning, and awe during childhood will be worth a look for readers interested in childhood development. (Aug.)