Academic journal article Theological Studies

Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life

Article excerpt

Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life. By Kent J. Lasnoski. Washington: Catholic University of America, 2014. Pp. xiv + 247. $65.

With this book Lasnoski makes a distinctive contribution to the field of family ethics. He argues that both marriage and consecrated religious life are "domestic practices of being consecrated and conformed to Christ" that should be animated by the evangelical virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience (34). He joins contemporary theologians who think about marriage as a practice (e.g., Judith M. Bennett, David Matzko McCarthy, Florence Caffrey Bourg), but questions the widely accepted narrative of a church that has only gradually come to appreciate the spiritual potential of marriage. By his account, Augustine's theology of marriage (often viewed as limited because of his emphasis on procreation, negative view of sexual desire, and affirmation of gender hierarchy) appropriately situates marriage in relation to consecrated life. Similarly, L.'s reading of the life of Christ as marked by poverty, chastity, and obedience challenges contemporary emphasis on Jesus as liberator of the oppressed and thus implicitly critiques theologies of the family that prioritize commitments to social justice. His adaptation of the concept of a monastic rule for married life Hows directly from the theological foundation he has constructed. …

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