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Philip L. Reynolds wins Haskins Medal for book on marriage
By Emory University School of Law | Emory Law | Nov 14, 2023 12:11:09 PM

Dr. Philip L. Reynolds has won the 2019 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America for his book How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments: The Sacramental Theology of Marriage from Its Medieval Origins to the Council of Trent. Reynolds is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Medieval Christianity and Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology at Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He is a fellow in Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, which published the book in 2016 in the Cambridge Studies in Law and Christianity series, edited by John Witte Jr.

In How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments, Reynolds traces the developing understanding of marriage from its early conception as a sacrament in the medieval church, through doctrinal refinement by scholastic theologians and doctrinal challenges presented by Protestant reformers, and, finally, to the establishment of the sacrament of marriage as a dogma of faith by the Council of Trent. In the words of the Haskins Medal committee, Reynolds treats his subject “with extraordinary depth and lucidity.” The committee praised Reynolds for “engaging directly and freshly with much erudite and often opaquely elaborate discussion by medieval theologians and canon-lawyers,” “allowing a vast array of thinkers the space to speak for themselves,” and rendering “comprehensible the convolutions of their debates with relish and wit.”

As a Haskins Medalist, Reynolds joins a long list of exceptional scholars, including such luminaries as Jaroslav Pelikan, Marcia L. Colish, and Brian Tierney. Tierney’s Haskins-winning book The Idea of Natural Rights: Studies on Natural Rights, Natural Law, and Church Law, 1150–1625, was published in another Center-edited series, Emory University Studies in Law and Religion.