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CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

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					CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
    BACKGROUNDS
         AND
     PERSPECTIVES
          IN
   VARIED SETTINGS
                     1
                       .
Material adapted in part from:
John, R. Witte, Jr.
From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage,
  Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition.
  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press,
  1997



                                                2
  THE MARRIAGE DECISION
      GOOD DECISIONS REQUIRE
BOTH INFORMATION AND FORMATION

WHAT AND HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?

       WHO IS YOUR GURU?



                                 3
      THE MARRIAGE DECISION

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA?

“A.M.D.G” ---Ignatius of Loyola
(“For the greater glory of God.”)
“Few people realize how much you have to
  know in order to realize how little you know.”
  --Fr. Walter Ong, S.J.
                                               4
    MODELS OF MARRIAGE
1. Catholic Sacramental
2. Lutheran Social Estate
3. Calvinist Covenantal
4. Anglican Commonwealth
5. Enlightenment Contract
                            5
    MODELS OF MARRIAGE
           INTERACTIVE FACTORS
•   THEOLOGICAL
•   POLITICAL
•   LEGAL
•   HISTORICAL
•   SOCIAL/CULTURAL
•   PSYCHOLOGICAL
•   ECONOMIC
•   GENERATIONAL                 6
  DIMENSIONS OF MARRIAGE IN
      CHRISTIAN HISTORY
1. RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE: SACRAMENTAL
   /SPIRITUAL ROLE IN CHURCH COMMUNITY
2. SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE: ROLE IN WORLDLY
   COMMUNITY LIFE AND LIVELIHOOD
3. CONTRACTUAL PERSPECTIVE: VOLUNTARY
   ASSOCIATION SUBJECT TO THE COUPLE AND
   THEIR PREFERENCES FOR THEIR HOUSEHOLD
4. NATURAL PERSPECTIVE: SHAPED BY THE
   LAWS OF NATURE
                                       7
   ANCIENT JEWISH TRADITION
• TRIBAL SOCIETY: WHERE DOES ONE FIT?
  (not individualistic)
• MEMBERSHIP IN THE COVENANT
  PEOPLE- RELATIONSHIPS AND DUTIES
  (Jewish mother as birth certificate)
• LAND DISTRIBUTION AND OWNERSHIP
• LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD-TEMPLE
  SACRIFICE
                                         8
    STAKEHOLDERS IN MARRIAGE
•   STATE
•   LOCAL COMMUNITY
•   NEIGHBORS
•   COUPLE
•   FAMILY
•   CHILDREN
                               9
TWO MILLENNIA OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
“ It might be instructive to note that family
   crises on a comparable scale to those we face
   today have been faced before….Sexual
   pathos was prominent at the opening of the
   second millennium with widespread
   concubinage, prostitution, voyeurism,
   polygamy, adultery, fornication, sodomy, wife
   and child abuse, teenage pregnancy,
   abortion…*and it+…has returned with equal
   pungency at the close of this second
   millennium.” John Witte.
                                               10
CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL MODEL
EASTERN (GREEK) APPROACH:
  MYSTERION: a revelatory event of encounter
  and meaning that draws one deeper into
  communion with God and humans.
  (Cf. Paul Eph 5; “Divine Mysteries”)
WESTERN (LATIN) APPROACH:
  SACRAMENTUM: an “outward” (sensible) sign
  of an oath or pledge one has taken that
  signifies one’s duty or commitment.
(NB: military brand; Tertullian)           11
CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL MODEL
 WESTERN (LATIN) CHRISTIANITY
• 12TH AND 13TH CENTURIES: Synthesized
  varied teachings from the past in terms of
  three themes--
• NATURAL: “Be fruitful and multiply” plus a
  remedy for lust/sin
• CONTRACTUAL: Mutual Consent of Parties in
  lifelong relation of love, service, mutual duty
• SACRAMENTAL: The earthly union of the
  couple symbolized the eternal union of Christ
  and his Church (Eph 5/21 ff.)                     12
 FORMULATIONS OF CANON LAW
• CHURCH COURTS GOVERNED
  MARRIAGE FROM 12TH CENTURY ON
• SYSTEMIZED BY COUNCIL OF TRENT
  (1563)
• PROSCRIBED CONTRACEPTION AND
  ABORTION
• PROSCRIBED INCEST, POLYGAMY,
  BESTIALITY, SODOMY
                                   13
 FORMULATIONS OF CANON LAW
• ENSURED VOLUNTARY CONSENT
• ANNULLMENT OF MARRIAGES MADE BY
  MISTAKE, DURESS, FRAUD, COERCION
• GRANTED HUSBAND AND WIFE EQUAL
  CONJUGAL RIGHTS
• PROTECTED INDISSOLUBILITY OF BONDS
• DISSOLVED INVALID BONDS
                                   14
   THE ‘RELIGIOUS’ ALTERNATIVE
• A HIGHER CALLING TO ‘RELIGIOUS’ LIFE OF
  VOWED CELIBACY
• CHURCH OFFICE OPEN ONLY TO VOWED
  CELIBATES
• POVERTY: Renunciation of booty rights
• CHASTITY: Renunciation of inheritance rights
• OBEDIENCE: Transfer of fealty to church vs.
  family (father or oldest brother)
                                                 15
  WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?

             THE GOSPELS

• JESUS WAS CELIBATE

• HIS MOTHER WAS A VIRGIN




                              16
             THE GOSPELS
              THE AMBIGUITY:
– The first of Jesus signs—The Wedding at Cana
– The Kingdom of God is like a wedding feast (Mt
  22)
– The children of this world marry and are given in
  marriage, are born and have their own children;
  but those who are judged worthy of a place in the
  other world …do not marry nor are they given in
  marriage (Luke 20)

                                                  17
               THE EPISTLES
• “I arranged for you to marry Christ so that I
  might give you away as a chaste virgin to this
  one husband” (2 Cor 11:2)
• “There is something I want to add for the sake
  of widows and those who are not married: It
  is a good thing for them to stay as they are,
  like me, but if they cannot control the sexual
  urges, they should get married, for it is better
  to than to be tortured.” (1 Cor 7:8)
                                                 18
               THE EPISTLES
• “The man who sees (to it) that his daughter is
  married has done a good thing, but the man
  who keeps his daughter unmarried has done
  something even better.” (1 Cor 7:38)
• “False teachers say that marriage is
  forbidden.” (1 Tim 4:3)
• “Marriage is to honored by all, and marriages
  are to be kept undefiled.” (Heb 13:4)

                                                   19
               THE EPISTLES
• “’For this reason a man shall leave father and
  mother and be joined to his wife, and the two
  shall become one flesh.’ This is a great
  mysterion, but I speak in reference to Christ
  and the church. Each one of you should love
  his wife as himself and the wife should love
  her husband.” (Eph 5:31-32)
• “Happy are those who are invited to the
  wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Rev 19:9)
                                               20
                   AUGUSTINE
                 THE CITY OF GOD
  (AD 410, the same year Rome was sacked by the Visigoths)

• The city of man is full of violence, death
  and destruction. (The natural world)
• The city of God (The kingdom of God), is
  a place of peace, life and creation.
   (The spiritual world.)

                                                             21
      SECOND HALF OF FIRST
          MILLENNIUM
• BARBARIAN INVASIONS AND FALL OF ROMAN
  CIVILIZATION
• RISE OF FEUDALISM
• SPREAD OF MONASTICISM---
RISE OF CITIES
ASSERTION OF CHURCH CONTROL OF
  MARRIAGE FOR COMPLEX OF REASONS
TROUBADORS AND COURTLY LOVE
INDIVIDUALISM AND COMMERCE               22
          FIRST HALF OF SECOND
               MILLENNIUM
•   Black Death
•   Printing Press
•   Clerical and monastic marriages
•   Adultery
•   Concubinage
•   Prostitution
•   Secret Marriages (Romeo and Juliet)
•   Political Machinations (Machiavelli)
                                           23
     CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL
• Coalesces in mid-twelfth century
• Three-fold Character:
   1. NATURAL ASSOCIATION-
    a) created by God to enable humans to “be
       fruitful and multiply”
    b) To raise children in service and love of God
    c) A remedy for lust
    d) A channel to direct one’s service to
       community and church
                                                      24
   CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL
2. CONTRACTUAL UNIT
  a) Formed by mutual consent of the
     parties
  b) Life-long relationship of love,
     service, devotion
  c) Prescribed marital and parental
     duties

                                       25
   CATHOLIC SACRAMENTAL
3. SACRAMENTAL REALITY-
  a) Symbolized the eternal union of Christ
     and his Church
  b) Sanctified the couple, the church and
     the community
  c) Remedy for lust and sin
  d) Considered less commendable than
     celibate life
  e) Hence, not open to clergy and religious
                                           26
    LUTHERAN SOCIAL ESTATE
• Martin Luther: German Augustinian Monk
• Concerned about power and its abuse
• Doctrine of Two Kingdoms:
  –Earthly Kingdom based in creation and
   nature
  –Heavenly Kingdom based in revelation,
   grace and redemption
  (Took hold in Germany, Scandinavia)

                                           27
     LUTHERAN SOCIAL ESTATE
MARRIAGE IS—
• Divinely ordained in creation
• Useful for earthly human purposes (nature)
• Restrains sex
• Enhances public virtue
• Raises awareness of sin



                                               28
     LUTHERAN SOCIAL ESTATE
MARRIAGE IS—
• NOT SACRAMENTAL
• CHURCH HAS NO JURISDICTION
• SUBJECT TO THE STATE, CIVIL LAW &COURTS
• CHURCH CAN COUNSEL MARRIED PERSONS
  TO BE GOOD CITIZENS



                                            29
     LUTHERAN SOCIAL ESTATE
THIS MODEL—
• REJECTED CLERICAL CELIBACY
• REJECTED ANNULMENTS DUE TO VOWS
• IS STRICTLY BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES
• DIVORCE ALLOWED FOR CAUSE
• MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE ARE PUBLIC
• REQUIRED PARENTAL CONSENT, WITNESSES,
  CHURCH REGISTRATION, INSTRUCTION
                                          30
       CALVINIST COVENANTAL
• Swiss Reformer John Calvin
• Took much from Luther but recast it
• MARRIAGE IS--
  a covenantal association within the
  community
• THREE PARTIES: 1.GOD (as witness & judge)
                2. HUSBAND
                3. WIFE
                                              31
      CALVINIST COVENANTAL
• Life-long because God is a covenant
  partner
• Parents’ Consent as God’s reps for
  children
• Two witnesses from the community
• Minister- Power of the Word of God
• Civil Magistrate- Temporal Power of
  Sword
                                        32
       CALVINIST COVENANTAL
• In creation God established the law of
  Marriage
• Two Sets of Norms Govern:
   – CIVIL- duties for all persons; state enforces
   – SPIRITUAL- duties for Christians; church
     persuades
   – In Geneva, administered by joint committee
   – Hence, spiritual as well as earthly (natural)
                                                 33
      CALVINIST COVENANTAL
• SINCE CHURCH, STATE AND COMMUNITY
  ALL HAD A STAKE—
• THEY CO-OPERATE TO ENSURE
   –FITNESS OF THOSE SEEKING TO MARRY
   –RIGHT CONDUCT IN MARRIAGES,
    FAMILIES
   Huguenot, Pietist, Puritan, Presbyterian
   Great Britain and U.S.                 34
   ANGLICAN COMMONWEALTH
• VIA MEDIA ANGLICANA
• Embraced elements of Sacramental (Catholic),
  Social Estate (Lutheran) and
  Covenantal(Calvinist)
• MARRIAGE IS—
  – A symbol of divine life
  – A social unit of the earthly kingdom
  – A solemn covenant between the partners

                                             35
  ANGLICAN COMMONWEALTH
• MARRIAGE SERVES THE COMMON
  GOOD OF
  –THE COUPLE
  –THE CHILDREN
  –THE CHURCH
  –THE STATE (The Realm, the King &
   Commonwealth)
                                      36
   ANGLICAN COMMONWEALTH
MARRIAGE IS ESTABLISHED BY GOD AS A
 “LITTLE COMMONWEALTH” THAT MODELS
 THE “GREAT COMMONWEALTH”—

• Respects Traditional Hierarchies
Husband   Parent      Church         King(State)
Wife      Child       Household      Church


                                               37
   ANGLICAN COMMONWEALTH
• Restored much of Catholic Canon Law
• Stressed Parallel Duties for Well-Ordered
  World (Britain and English Colonies)
• No Dissolution of Commonwealth, therefore
  no divorce (Henry VIII not withstanding—the
  King was subject to the State)
• Gradually accommodated democracy, shifting
  toward equality, voluntary consent, rights of
  individuals
                                                  38
  ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
 PROPOSED IN 18TH CENTURY
ELABORATED IN THE 19TH CENTURY
 IMPLEMENTED IN 20TH CENTURY
  (ESPECIALLY IN US, ENGLAND)



                                 39
  ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
MARRIAGE IS—
 a voluntary, essentially private,
 bargain struck between two
 parties who want an intimate
 association

                                     40
    ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
MARRIAGE IS—
• NOT SET BY GOD, NATURE, STATE, CHURCH,
  TRADITION OR COMMUNITY
• THE PARTIES THEMSELVES SET THE TERMS
• ACCORDING TO LEGAL NORMS that respect
  the life, liberty, property, interests of others
  (NB: John Locke-”Social Contract”)


                                                     41
  ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
PROPONTENTS URGE—
• ABOLITION OF PARENTAL CONSENT
• ABOLITION OF CHURCH CONSECRATION
• ABOLITION OF FORMAL WITNESSES
• NO GENDER/SEX DISCRIMINATION



                                     42
   ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
PROPONENTS URGE—
• ABSOLUTE EQUALITY IN PROPERTY RIGHTS

• ABSOLUTE EQUALITY IN CONTRACTS AND
  COMMERCE

• ABSOLUTE EQUALITY IN WORKPLACE

                                         43
   ENLIGHTENMENT CONTRACT
PROPONENTS URGE—
• STATE JURISDICTION OVER DIVORCE AND
  ANNULLMENT
• STATE JURISDICATION OVER CARE AND
  WELFARE OF CHILDREN
• CHILDREN INCIDENTAL TO MARRIAGE
• RECOURSE TO STATE BY DISTRESSED PARTIES
• STATE SANCTION FOR MARITAL PROBLEMS
                                            44
    MODELS OF MARRIAGE


“WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET” (HEAD)
WHEN YOU THINK OR TALK ABOUT
           MARRIAGE?
WHEN YOU HEAR PEOPLE USE THE
  WORD “MARRIAGE”, WHAT ARE
     THEY TALKING ABOUT?
                                 45

				
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