Male Headship: Reform of the Protestant Tradition

DOES CHRISTIANITY TEACH MALE HEADSHIP? THE EQUAL REGARD FAMILY AND ITS CRITICS, 28-39, David Blankenhoom, Don S. Browning, and Mary Stewart van Leeuwen, eds., 2004

Emory Legal Studies Research Paper

9 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2011 Last revised: 11 Sep 2019

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The historical Protestant tradition has interpreted the biblical teachings on male headship in a variety of ways – from stern theories of patriarchy within the church, state, and family to gender-equality in all relationships. This Article uses a nineteenth-century English literary debate between the patriarchal views of James Fitzjames Stephens and the egalitarian views of John Stuart Mill to test the values and limits of each perspective and their respective influence on modern family law. The author has expanded on these themes in his later volume, From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (2d ed., Westminster John Knox Press, 2012).

Keywords: Male Headship; Christianity; John Stuart Mill, James Fitzjames Stephens; Patriarchy; Marriage; Family; Parent-Child; Gender; Equality

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, Male Headship: Reform of the Protestant Tradition (2004). DOES CHRISTIANITY TEACH MALE HEADSHIP? THE EQUAL REGARD FAMILY AND ITS CRITICS, 28-39, David Blankenhoom, Don S. Browning, and Mary Stewart van Leeuwen, eds., 2004, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1863626

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

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