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New book offers new hope for marraige
By CSLR | Emory Law | May 23, 2016 2:05:00 PM

A newly released second edition of CSLR Director John Witte, Jr.’s ground-breaking book on Western marriage offers hope for restoring family life in America.

In From Sacrament to Contract, Second Edition (Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), Witte explains that throughout history “the Western tradition of marriage has always found the resources to heal and reinvent itself. …The prospect of healing and reinvention is no less likely today—so long as academics, activists, and advocates, political, religious, and civic leaders ponder these problems in good faith and direct their resources to good works.”

Witte, Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Alonzo L. McDonald Family Foundation Distinguished Professor, outlines how this might be done in new chapters on the classical, biblical, and patristic sources of Western marriage, and revised chapters exploring marriage in various traditions and time periods, including Catholic, the Lutheran Reformation, Calvinist, Anglican, and the Enlightenment. He also includes an expanded last chapter and concluding reflections “to addresses more fully some of the debates about sex, marriage, and family life that now challenge and divide church, state, and society alike.”

From Sacrament to Contract received rave reviews upon its first release in 1997.

The new edition is likely to fare even better. It takes into account Witte’s own work on the history, law, and theology of sex, marriage, and family life of the past two decades – reflected in his 8 other books on the subject -- and the new scholarship produced in CSLR research projects on “Sex, Marriage & Family and the Religions of the Book“ (2003-2009) and “The Child in Law, Religion, and Society” (2003-2011).

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