Water Is Thicker Than Blood: An Augustinian Theology of Marriage and Singleness

By Jana Marguerite Bennett | Go to book overview

1
How ‘Theology of Marriage’
Damages Ecclesiology

There is a cultural frenzy regarding marriage, and it has overtaken theology. It has become a mesmerizing issue in contemporary culture, in part because there seem to be so many failures at it. Every day, there is a newspaper article proclaiming the high divorce rate and the myriad ways in which children are affected by divorce. There are numerous academic and political think tanks around the country devoted to the singular question: how do we, in Western society, fix marriage? In addition to these reports there are other considerations about marriage in contemporary culture. Many feminist scholars have pointed out that marriage as traditionally conceived only serves to exacerbate gender issues and that some groups that want to “fix marriage” are really advocating an unhelpful return to genderspecific roles. To still others, marriage has quite simply become a superfluous institution: it is nothing more than a means to tax breaks, but it offers no other real benefits because it is no longer a necessary means for regulating society. In previous eras, marriage and family were more definitely institutions that helped society function, these scholars say; nowadays, though, we are a society of strong men and women quite capable of living on our own. Why bring marriage in to complicate matters? In considering the very complex problem of marriage, we also consider that there are many people who would like to be married but find themselves legally unable to do so, as in the case of gay marriage. Anywhere a person turns, there

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