Lawler, among the leading Catholic voices on the theology of marriage, does not shy away from the difficult questions, but confronts them honestly, historically accurately, and pastorally. He highlights a Catholic approach to premarital relationships, to marriage, to divorce, and to remarriage. He examines the relationship of marriage and sacrament, faith and sacrament, friendship in marriage, divorce and remarriage, cohabitation, family, interchurch marriages, and the changing models of marriage in the Catholic tradition. The whole offers a fresh look at the Catholic theology of marriage for a new millennium.
Chapter 1 looks at marriage as a sacrament. Chapter 2 then asks what models of marriage function in the contemporary Catholic Church. Chapter 3 considers what it takes to transform the social reality of marriage into the Catholic sacrament and answers that it takes personal faith. Lawler looks into the bonds or relationships in marriage in Chapter 4. He offers an extended consideration of divorce and remarriage in the Catholic Church in Chapter 5. In Chapter 6 he offers theological and pastoral reflections on interchurch marriage. He analyzes the Christian reality and value of friendship and reflects on its contribution to the stability of marriage in Chapter 7. Lawler inquires, in Chapter 8, whether cohabitation could, again as in the past, be counted as a step in the process of becoming married in the Catholic tradition. Finally in Chapter 9 he seeks to construct a theology of Christian family and reflects on what that theology, and the families rooted in it, can contribute to American families in their present crisis.
Chapters are Marriage and the Sacrament of Marriage," "Catholic Models of Marriage," "Faith and Sacrament in Christian Marriage," "On the Bonds of Marriage," "Divorce and Remarriage in the Catholic Church," "Interchurch Marriages: Theological and Pastoral Reflections," "Friendship and Marriage," "Cohabitation and Marriage in the Catholic Church: A Proposal," and "Toward a Theology of Christian Family."
Michael G. Lawler, PhD, is the Amelia B. and Emil G. Graff Chair in Catholic Theological Studies and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He directs the Center for Marriage and Family, whose studies of marriage preparation, interchurch marriages, and the first five years of marriage have gained international acclaim."
Among the deleterious effects of modernization and globalization on marriage are a worldwide drift of men away from the responsibility of parenthood and the tendency of mothers too readily to take on the task of childrearing alone. After looking at recent research on these and other problems, Don Browning suggests that the cure for modern marital disruption entails reforming and reconstructing the institution of marriage while also nurturing relevant forms of social support. Yet the effort to initiate a "world marriage revival" requires a complex cultural work, and Browning explores the key contributions that the religions of the world must make for such an effort to be successful.
Written by distinguished Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars, the book first demonstrates how deep strands of the Christian tradition have always taught an ethic of gender mutuality, sowing the seeds for what is today called the "equal-regard marriage." Though patriarchy was pervasive in the ancient world surrounding early Christianity and sometimes influenced the church, new research shows that the earliest layers of Christianity both resisted and worked to transform it. Not every author in the book agrees with this point of view; dissenters have their say too. As a whole, "Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? constitutes a robust debate that, finally, invites readers to decide.
Contributors: David Blankenhorn
Lisa Sowle Cahill
Allan C. Carlson
Daniel Mark Cere
W. Robert Godfrey
John W. Miller
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen
John Witte Jr.
By looking closely at the biblical texts on divorce and remarriage in light of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman world, this book shows that the original audience of the New Testament heard these teachings differently. Through a careful exploration of the background literature of the Old Testament, the ancient Near East, and especially ancient Judaism, David Instone-Brewer constructs a biblical view of divorce and remarriage that is wider in scope than present-day readings.
Among the important findings of the book are that both Jesus and Paul condemned divorce without valid grounds and discouraged divorce even for valid grounds; that both Jesus and Paul affirmed the Old Testament grounds for divorce; that the Old Testament allowed divorce for adultery and for neglect or abuse; and that both Jesus and Paul condemned remarriage after an invalid divorce but not after a valid divorce. Instone-Brewer shows that these principles are not only different from the traditional church interpretation of the New Testament but also directly relevant to modern relationships.
Enhanced with pastoral advice on how to apply the biblical teaching in today's context, this volume will be a valuable resource for anyone seeking serious answers about married life.
Readers contemplate true love, intimacy, and how love is expressed and received in their marriage. The book addresses attitudes that are helpful for dealing with obstacles and fears that hinder intimacy. The rhythms, cycles, and stages in a marriage are discussed to provide awareness for a married couple. The wants, needs, and requirements for the relationship are acknowledged. The authors delve into some specific aspects of marriage by considering the process of making decisions as a couple, discussing making life choices, and different perspectives on the use of time and money. One chapter is devoted to love making. Communication and conflict resolution are brought up as well as the call to mission. The book ends by focusing on the hopes, dreams, and Vision that we have for marriage and how that motivates us to live better and more joy-filled lives today.
Claiming Our Deepest Desires is for adults in healthy committed married relationships, who wish to grow in love and intimacy to realize the full promise of marriage. Ideally spouses will read, reflect on, and discuss the book together. It can be used by individuals, small groups, or as a supplemental text to university-level courses.
Chapters are Cal to Marriage," *What Is Love and Intimacy? - *Growing in Love and Intimacy, - *The Dynamics of Relationship, - *Making Decisions on Life Choices, Time, and Money, - *Making Love in a Sexually Charged World, - *Conflict and Communication, - *Mission: Fruit of a Vibrant Marriage, - and *The Fruit of Love Is Joy. - Exercises and reflection questions are provided at the end of each chapter.
M. Bridget Brennan is the director of marriage ministry at St. Francis Xavier Church on the campus of St. Louis University. She serves as a consultant with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life. She is founder and president of The Cana Institute. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at Aquinas Institute School of Theology and St. Louis Community College.
Jerome L. Shen served as director of fundamental research for DuPont Protein Technology International for several years. Presently he serves as visiting professor of chemistry at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois.
Bridget and Jerry travel throughout the United States presenting retreats and workshops for married couples. In addition, they direct marriage preparation seminars for first-time marriages, second-time marriages, and inter-faith marriages."
Relevant, academically oriented yet popularly written, and filling a need by its attention to family issues, this book will make an ideal text for courses in:
-- family ethics.
-- social justice.
-- Christian ethics.