Helen Alvare–The Enduring Institution: The Law of Marriage in the West

John Witte Jr.’s second edition of From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition is a critical resource for legal scholars, legislators, theologians and sociologists, living during a time when it could be said without exaggeration that every one of the previously accepted goods and goals of marriage has vociferously been called into question. Together, the current proponents of legalizing polygamy or same sex marriage, or deinstitutionalizing marriage, or institutionalizing cohabitation, are denying that states possess even a rational reason to ground marriage law upon the good of children and marital childrearing. Some among them even call into question the state’s interest in fostering enduring love, companionship and mutual service between couples ”“ whether of the same sex or opposite sexes. Rather, same-sex marriage advocates in particular frame marriage recognition as a means for the state to express its strong interests in and affirmation of the means of sexual expression as well as the partnership choices of individuals who are same-sex attracted.

In this environment, Professor Witte’s book might be said to be a significant contribution toward curing the unbearable lightness of marriage in public discourse today…

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General