An Apt and Cheerful Conversation on Marriage

25 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2005 Last revised: 12 Jan 2017

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2005


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.

Keywords: marriage, family, Christianity, Enlightenment

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, An Apt and Cheerful Conversation on Marriage (2005). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-17, Available at SSRN:

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

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