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An Apt and Cheerful Conversation on Marriage

John Witte Jr.

Emory University School of Law


Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-17

This Article argues that modern Anglo-American marriage law was formed out of two traditions - one rooted in Christianity, a second in the Enlightenment. Each of these traditions has contributed a variety of familiar legal ideas and institutions of modern domestic life, lore, and law - some overlapping, some conflicting. The overlapping and creatively juxtaposed legal contributions of these two traditions hold the promise of creating a new understanding of marriage that is neither blindly nostalgic about a purported golden of marriage nor naively myopic about the massive social, psychological, and structural costs of the modern revolution of sex, marriage, and family.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: marriage, family, Christianity, Enlightenment

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Date posted: July 15, 2005 ; Last revised: January 12, 2017

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, An Apt and Cheerful Conversation on Marriage (2005). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=755105

Contact Information

John Witte Jr. (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6980 (Phone)
404-712-8605 (Fax)

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