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Sex, Marriage, Family, and the Religions of the Book

This project analyzed of the role that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have played and can play in forming and reforming theories, laws, and practices of sex, marriage, and family life. It was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Inc., Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the Ford Foundation. It was directed by Don S. Browning and John Witte, Jr.

Conference: Sex, Marriage, and Family, and the Religions of the Book: Modern Problems, Enduring Solutions

Michael Broyde: Marital Pluralism

Robert M. Franklin: Where's Dad? Fatherhood in African-American Families

Panel: The Teachings of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures

David Novak, Aziza al-Hibri, and Luke Timothy Johnson discuss what the scriptures say about sex, marriage, and family. Steven M. Tipton chairs. 

Amitai Etzioni: Sex in a Religious Libertarian and Communitarian Perspective

Other presentations

"Adoption: Legal, Theological, and Ethical Challenges," John C. Mayoue, Warner, Mayoue, Bates, Nolen & Collar, P.C.; Stephen G. Post, Case Western Reserve University; Stephen B. Presser, Northwestern University; Ann M. Stanton, Arizona State University

"Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-sex Unions," Mark D. Jordan, Dale Martin, Yale University; Saul Olyan, Brown University; Mary Ann Tolbert, Pacific School of Religion

"Covenant Marriage: History, Theology, Public Policy," James Turner Johnson, Rutgers University; Michael G. Lawler, Creighton University; Katherine Shaw Spaht, Louisiana State University; Max L. Stackhouse, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Happily Ever After? Sex, Marriage, and Family in National and Global Profile," Don S. Browning, Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chigago; Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University

"I Do, I Don't: The Cases For and Against Marriage," Martha Albertson Fineman, William J. Doherty, University of Minnesota; Linda J. Waite, University of Chicago

"Images of Women in the Bible," David R. Blumenthal

"Interreligious Marriage: Three Muslim Case Studies," Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

"Is There Any Place Like Home?" Bradd Shore, Ann Swidler, University of California at Berkeley

"The Jewish Family in America: Secular Challenges and Traditional Resources," Elliot Dorff, University of Judaism

"Living Alone: The Vocation of Singleness and Celibacy," Patrick M. Brennan, Arizona State University

"Luck, Obedience, and the Vocation of Childhood," John E. Coons, University of California at Berkeley

"Maimonides: Science Generates Faith," Michael S. Berger, David R. Blumenthal

"Sex and the American Catholic Church," Luke Timothy Johnson

"Sex, Marriage, and Family: The Challenges of the New Century," Martin E. Marty, Rebecca S. Chopp, Colgate University

"Sex, Marriage, and Hugh of St. Victor," Philip L. Reynolds

"Social Justice and Public Policy for Latino Families in the United States," Joseph M. Palacios, S.J., Georgetown University

"Spouses and Citizens: Should Marriage be a Civil Status," Mary Lyndon Shanley, Vassar College

"Suffer the Children? Contraception, Abortion, Reproductive Stewardship," Carol J. Rowland Hogue, Sherryl H. Goodman, Emory University; Brent Philip Waters, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Center

"The Teachings of Indian Hindu Tradition," Werner Menski, University of London; Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida; Veena Talwar Oldenburg, City University of New York

"The Teachings of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures," Luke Timothy Johnson, David Novak, University of Toronto; Azizah al-Hibri, University of Richmond

"The Teachings of Nature, Religion, and Tradition," Robert N. Bellah, University of California at Berkeley; Frans B. de Waal, Emory University

"The Teachings of Nature," Stephen J. Pope, F. Russell Hittinger

"The Teachings of the Indian Muslim Traditions," Sona Khan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

"The Teachings of the Western Christian Tradition," R. H. Helmholz, University of Chicago; Steven E. Ozment, Harvard University

"The Theory of Love: Ibn Da'ud al-Zahiri's Book of the Flower," Devin J. Stewart

"Trends in Dating, Mating, and Union Formation Among Young Adults," Barbara DaFoe Whitehead, National Marriage Project, Rutgers University

"Who Decides? State, Religion, and the Future of Family Policy," Margaret F. Brinig, University of Iowa; Wade F. Horn, Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families; Frank Keating, Former Governor, State of Oklahoma; Lee E. Teitelbaum, Cornell University

"Why American Households Are Changing: What Difference Does it Make?," Claude S. Fischer, University of California at Berkeley; Robert T. Michael, University of Chicago

"The Wisdom of the Ancient Greeks: Antigone," David J. Cohen, University of California at Berkeley; Sarah Iles Johnston, Ohio State University; H. Alan Shapiro, Johns Hopkins University

"Marriage à la Mode: Answering the Advocates of Same-sex Marriage," March 28, 2003, Katherine Young, McGill University; Paul Nathanson, McGill University

"Reconstructing Marriage in Nineteenth-Century African America," Frances Smith Foster

"Religion as a Resource in Making Family Policy," William A. Galston, University of Maryland; Jeffrey L. Stout, Princeton University


Project publications

Marriage and Divorce in a Multicultural Context: Multi-Tiered Marriage and the Boundaries of Civil Law and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Joel A. Nichols

Children and Childhood in World Religions (Rutgers University Press, 2009), Don S. Browning and Marcia J. Bunge, eds.

Children and Childhood in American Religions (Rutgers University Press, 2009), Don S. Browning and Bonnie Miller-McLemore, eds.

Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America (Oxford University Press, 2009), Frances Smith Foster

Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (Fortress Press, 2007), Robert M. Franklin

The Equal-Regard Family and its Friendly Critics: Don Browning and the Practical Theological Ethics of the Family (William B. Eerdmans, 2007), M. Christian Green, Amy Wheeler, and John Witte, Jr., eds.

Equality and the Family: A Fundamental Practical Theology of Children, Mothers, and Fathers in Modern Societies (William B. Eerdmans, 2007), Don S. Browning

Love and Marriage in Early African America (Northeastern University Press, 2007), Frances Smith Foster

Public Pulpits: Methodists and Mainline Churches in the Moral Argument of Public Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Steven M. Tipton

To Have and to Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western Christendom, 400-1600 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Philip L. Reynolds and John Witte, Jr., eds.

American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope with Modernization and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2006), Don S. Browning and David A. Clairmont, eds.

Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions (Princeton University Press, 2006), Mark D. Jordan

Blessing Same-Sex Unions: The Perils of Queer Romance and the Confusions of Christian Marriage (University of Chicago Press, 2005), Mark D. Jordan

Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective (William B. Eerdmans, 2005), John Witte, Jr. and Eliza Ellison, eds.

Early New England: A Covenanted Society (William B. Eerdmans, 2005) David A. Weir

Family Transformed: Religion, Values, and Society in American Life (Georgetown University Press, 2005), Steven M. Tipton and John Witte, Jr., eds.

Inter-religious Marriages Among Muslims: Negotiating Religious and Social Identity in Family and Community (Global Media Publications, 2005), Abdullah Ahmed An-Na’im

Marriage Proposals: Questioning a Legal Status (New York University Press, 2005), Joel A. Nichols and John Witte, Jr., eds.

Sex, Marriage, & Family in World Religions (Columbia University Press, 2005), Don S. Browning, M. Christian Green, and John Witte, Jr., eds.

Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin's Geneva I: Courtship, Engagement, Marriage (William B. Eerdmans, 2005), John Witte, Jr. and Robert M. Kingdon, eds.

The Family in Africa and the African Diaspora: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Imprenta Kadmos, 2004), Frances Smith Foster and Olga Barrios, eds.

Women's Rights and Islamic Family Law: Perspectives on Reform (Zed Books, 2004), Lynn Welchman

Marriage and Modernization: How Globalization Threatens Marriage and What to Do about It (William B. Eerdmans, 2003), Don S. Browning

Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book (Zed Books, 2002), Abdullah Ahmed An-Na’im

The Priority of Love: Christian Charity and Social Justice (Princeton University Press, 2002), Timothy P. Jackson

Reweaving the Social Tapestry: Toward a Public Philosophy and Policy for Families (W. W. Norton & Company, 2002), Don S. Browning and Gloria G. Rodriguez, eds.

Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech (Beacon Press, 2002), Mark D. Jordan

The Ethics of Sex (Blackwell Publishing, 2001), Mark D. Jordan

From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion and Law in the Western Tradition (Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), John Witte, Jr.