in John Witte, Jr. and Gary S. Hauk, eds., Christianity and Family Law: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 1-15.
14 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2017 Last revised: 19 Jul 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2017
The Western tradition has always cherished the family as an essential foundation of a just and orderly society, and thus accorded it special legal and religious protection. Christianity embraced this teaching from the start, and helped to shape many of the basics of Western family law using its theologies of nature, sacrament, and covenant. This is the Introduction to a text that introduces readers to the enduring and evolving Christian norms and teachings on betrothals and weddings; marriage and divorce; women’s and children’s rights; marital property and inheritance; human sexuality and intimate relationships. The chapters are authoritatively written but accessible to college and graduate students and scholars, as well as clergy and laity. While alert to the hot button issues of sexual liberty today, the contributing authors let the historical figures speak for themselves about what Christianity has and can contribute to the protection and guidance of our most intimate association.
Keywords: Marriage; family; family law; Western tradition; Bible; sex; sexuality; Augustine; John Chrysostom; Thomas Aquinas; Martin Luther; John Calvin; Mary Wollstonecraft; Abraham Kuyper; Pope Leo XIII; Pope John Paul II
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation