Sex, Marriage, and Family in World Religions

Sex, Marriage, and Family in World Religions

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Columbia University Press


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Sex, Marriage, and Family in World Religions

Spanning thousands of years, this new collection brings together writings and teachings about sex, marriage, and family from the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions. The volume includes traditional texts as well as contemporary materials showing how the religions have responded to the changing conditions and mores of modern life. It reveals the similarities and differences among the various religions and the development of ideas and teachings within each tradition. Selections shed light on each religion's views on a range of subjects, including sexuality and sexual pleasure, the meaning and purpose of marriage, the role of betrothal, the status of women, the place of romance, grounds for divorce, celibacy, and sexual deviance.

Separate chapters devoted to each religion include introductions by leading scholars that contextualize the readings. The selections are drawn from a variety of genres including ritual, legal, theological, poetic, and mythic texts. The volume contains such diverse examples as the Zohar on conjugal manners, a contemporary Episcopalian liturgy for same-sex unions, Qur'anic passages on the equality of the sexes, the Ka–masu–tra on husbands, wives, and lovers, Buddhist writings on celibacy, and Confucian teachings on filial piety.

Contributors include: Michael S. Berger, Emory University; Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Richmond School of Law; Alan Cole, Lewis and Clark College; Paul B. Courtright, Emory University; Patricia Buckley Ebrey, University of Washington; Raja M. El-Habti, Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights; Luke Timothy Johnson, Emory University; Mark D. Jordan, Emory University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231131179
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 03/30/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 820,875
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 3.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Don S. Browning is the Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Religious Ethics and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. He is the author or editor of more than forty books, including Marriage and Modernization: How Globalization Threatens Marriage and What to Do About It.M. Christian Green is senior fellow and senior lecturer in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University and author of a forthcoming title on fatherhood in the Western tradition.John Witte Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor, and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He has published twenty-four books, including The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature.

Table of Contents

1. Judaism, by Michael S. Berger
The Hebrew Bible
The Elephantine Marriage Contract
Hellenistic Jewish Philosophy in the Wisdom of Ben Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
The Damascus Document of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Josephus on Marriage Law
Mishnah on Procreation, Marriage, and Divorce
The Babylonian Talmud
Aggadic Midrash on Marriage and Family
The Babylonian Talmud on Marital Sex
The Babylonian Ordinance from the Academy on Divorce
The Ordinances of Rabbi Gershom (The Light of the Exile)
Medieval Marriage Contracts from the Cairo Geniza
Love Poetry from the Golden Age of Spain
The Order of the Get
Maimonides on Sex
Jewish Mysticism on Marriage and Sex
The Book of the Pious of Medieval Germany
The Epistle on Holiness ("Iggeret Ha-qodesh")
Exchange Between Napoleon and the Jewish "Sanhedrin" on Issues of Marriage
Contemporary Developments in Jewish Marriage Contracts
Reform Opinion on Patrilineal and Matrilineal Descent
2. Christianity, by Luke Timothy Johnson and Mark D. Jordan
Creation and the Fall in the Book of Genesis
The Greco-Roman Context
Hellenistic Jewish Moral Instruction
Gospels of Matthew and Luke
Paul's Letters to the Corinthians and Ephesians
Apocryphal Christian Texts
Augustine of Hippo
John Chrysostom
Peter Lombard
The Fourth Lateran Council
Thomas Aquinas
Mechthild of Magdeburg
Martin Luther
Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1549)
John Calvin
The Council of Trent
George Fox
A Contemporary Critique of Sexual Ethics
A Womanist Critique of Family Theology
A Contemporary Liturgy for Same-Sex Unions
3. Islam, by Azizah al-Hibri and Raja' M. El Habti
Creation and the Identity of Origin of Women and Men
The Fall from the Garden and Gender Equality
The Marriage Contract
Consent to Marriage
Mahr: The Obligatory Marital Gift
Marital Relations
Marital Conflict
Sexual Ethics
Rights Within the Family
4. Hinduism, by Paul B. Courtright
Rig Veda 10.85: The Marriage Hymn
The Grhya-Sutras: The Wedding Ceremony
Laws of Manu
The Kamasutra
Divine Marriage: Sivaiva and Parvati
The Karma of Marriage: The King's Wife, the Brahmin's Wife, and the Ogre
A Contemporary Hindu Marriage Ceremony
"Counting the Flowers," a Short Story by Chudamani Raghavan, Translated from the Tamil by the Author
5. Buddhism, Alan Cole
The Beginning of the World
The Joys of Ascetism
Married Life Versus Life of the Ascetic
Songs by Buddhist Women
The Conversion of the Nun, Patacara
The Buddha Accepts His Aunt, Gotami, as a Nun
The Buddha's Renunciation of His Family
Confusion Over the Buddha as a Fertility God
Buddhism as a Threat to the Indian Family
The Buddha’s Advice for Laity
An Early Buddha Lineage
East Asian Buddhism: An Overview
The Sutra on the Filial Son
The Ghost Festival Sutra
The Sutra on the Profound Kindness of Parents
The Blood Bowl Sutra
6. Confucianism, Patricia Buckley Ebrey
The Book of Poetry (Shi jing)
The Analects (Lunyu) of Confucius
Mencius on Filial Piety
Historical Incidents from the Zuo zhuan
Record of Ritual
The Record of Ritual of the Elder Dai
The Classic of Filial Piety
Lives of Model Women
Admonitions for Women
Filial Sons
Mr. Yan's Family Instructions
The Classic of Filial Piety for Women
Yuan Cai on Concubines
Zhu Xi on Family and Marriage
Sexual Offenses in the Code of the Qing Dynasty
Advice to Local Officials on Handling Sexual Offenses
Qing Legal Cases Concerning Sexual Offenses
Chen Duxiu on the Way of Confucius and Modern Life
Feng Youlan on the Philosophy at the Basis of Traditional Chinese Society

What People are Saying About This

William J. Doherty

An extraordinary compendium of original texts and balanced analysis of how the world's great religions deal with sex, marriage and family life. For social scientists and therapists whose systematic learning about religion may have ended before graduate school, this is the best single source for understanding how our most influential religions arrived at their contemporary perspectives on our most intimate human bonds.

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