American society is experiencing a profound crisis of trust, from government to mass media to educational and religious institutions. And ? whether we realize it or not ? this crisis affects us all. I
American society is experiencing a profound crisis of trust, from government to mass media to educational and religious institutions. And ? whether we realize it or not ? this crisis affects us all.
In Building Cultures of Trust, Martin Marty proposes ways of improving the conditions for trust at what might be called the ?grass roots? level. He suggests that it makes a difference if citizens put energy into inventing, developing, and encouraging ?cultures of trust? in all areas of life ? families, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and more. Marty believes that such efforts at trust-building will do more than trickle up to larger areas of society; it will become a slow spreading of habits of honesty, inspiring trust on a culture-changing scale.
Far from naïve, Marty realizes that the reality of human nature tends towards trust-breaking, not trust-building. All the more reason, he argues, to develop strategies to bring about improvements, one small step at a time.
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?As our society has become increasingly divided and polarized, one thing that has broken down is trust ? both between individuals and between groups of people. One of the most trusted people in America, Martin Marty, persuasively suggests that the most promising way to change is by ?building cultures of trust? from the bottom up ? from individuals to communities and beyond. With his characteristic depth and insight into American public life, this book is a vital resource for anyone who wishes to contribute to recovering a more ?civil? society and moral public discourse.?
? Jim Wallis
president and CEO of Sojourners
author of Rediscovering Values
?The presidential election of 2000, the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made the degree to which trust in political and religious leaders has been completely broken a serious consideration. In his thoughtful and probing study, Marty, the dean of American religious thinkers, examines some of the reasons that mistrust is fostered in society and then suggests ways that trust can become a more evident feature of society, enriching our lives. . . . Offers hopeful suggestions for restoring trust in a world sorely lacking it.?
? Publishers Weekly