The Duties of Love: The Vocation of the Child in the Household Manual Tradition
Patrick M. Brennan, ed., The Vocation of the Child (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008), 266-294 (with Heather M. Good)
27 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019
Date Written: 2008
This Article analyzes the little explored late medieval and early modern household manuals that provided European and North American parents, children, and other household members with detailed instructions on their domestic, spiritual, emotional, and social responsibilities to God, neighbor, and self. The manuals outlined the duties of love, respect, recompense, and life-long honor that children owed to parents, and the duties of love, support, education, nurture, emancipation, and inheritance that parents owed to their children. Some of these early household manuals proved to be important prototypes for later theories of catechesis, education, children’s rights, and books of etiquette and deportment that were common in Catholic and Protestant circles on both sides of the Atlantic.
Keywords: household manuals, children, parents, love, honor, respect, education, parental care, intergenerational care, inheritance, William Blackstone, John Locke, common law, Protestantism
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