Marriage After Modernity: Christian Marriage in Postmodern Times

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Most Christians hold marriage to be a sacrament, created and uniquely blessed by God. Yet, the theology of marriage rarely matches its actual experience. Marriage is too often discovered to be a violent, loveless institution, and increasingly it is delayed, avoided, and terminated.

Marriage after Modernity offers a new vision for Christian marriage at a time of unprecedented social and theological change. It provides an unreserved commendation of Christian marriage, reaffirming its status as a sacrament and institution of mutual self-giving, while simultaneously breaking new ground. Thatcher draws on earlier traditions of betrothal and informal marriage to accept some forms of premarital cohabitation and presents a new defense of the link between marriage and procreation by sketching a theology of liberation for children. Chapters bring new light to bear on divorce and legitimate theological grounds for "the parting of the ways," contraception, and the question of whether marriage is a heterosexual institution. Particular attention is paid throughout the book to overcoming the androcentric bias of much Christian thought and the distorting effect it has had on marriage, particularly on the experiences of wives.

Marriage after Modernity argues for a vision of marriage that does not abandon its history and that draws upon its premodern roots to grapple with our current social, cultural, and intellectual upheavals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814782514
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Thatcher is Professor of Applied Theology at the University College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, England.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Ch. 1 Marriage, Method and Modernity 9
Ch. 2 Christian Marriage: The Two Dialogues 31
Ch. 3 The Biblical Models of Marriage 67
Ch. 4 Cohabitation, Betrothal and the Entry into Marriage 103
Ch. 5 A Theology of Liberation for Children 132
Ch. 6 Betrothal, Marriage and Contraception 171
Ch. 7 Marriage: Communal Partnership, Mutually Administered Sacrament 209
Ch. 8 The Parting of the Ways 249
Ch. 9 Christian Marriage after Modernity 289
Bibliography 305
Index of References 317
Index of Subjects 320
Index of Authors 325
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