Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 1

By William Graham Sumner; Albert Galloway Keller et al. | Go to book overview

MODERN MARRIAGE1

I PROPOSE first to review briefly some of the traditional ideas about marriage which have come down to us in Jewish and Christian tradition. At a certain stage in the history of the Christian church attention was directed to the Old Testament in order to learn what it taught on the subject. The findings were, in a remarkable degree, negative. Much sentiment has been read into the text which is not there. Take the case of the model wife as delineated in the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs. This characterization is entirely practical and presents the Jewish housewife as she should be. There is no model woman in the Old Testament. Ruth and Esther have been cited by Jews and Christians; but Ruth was a heroine because she chose the Jehovah religion. She became, in due order, the wife of a male relative of her husband, a nearer one having waived his right. The usage is familiar in ethnography. Esther is a patriotic heroine. In the Anglican marriage service Isaac and Rebecca, without any adequate reason, are held up as models. In the mediæval services Tobias was often mentioned.

In the first two chapters of Genesis occur two accounts of the creation of woman and of the first pair. What is there stated has been used for two thousand years as a basis for poetry and idealization and also for theological dogma. Perhaps the extreme product of that line of effort is shown in Milton "Paradise Lost." Milton constructed upon the story of the pair in Eden a seventeenth-

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1
Written about 1903. The Yale Review, Jan. 1924, XIII, 249-275.

-255-

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Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • How Sumner Impressed a Graduate Student Who Never Met Him xv
  • Autobiographical Sketch of William Graham Sumner 3
  • The Teacher's Unconscious Success 6
  • Purposes and Consequences 11
  • Discipline 20
  • Integrity in Education 36
  • The Scientific Attitude of Mind 43
  • Religion and the Mores 55
  • The Mores of the Present and the Future 73
  • The American Code 89
  • The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over 91
  • The Abolition of Poverty 107
  • Foreword to "Lynch-Law" 112
  • Witchcraft 114
  • War 136
  • Earth Hunger or the Philosophy of Land Grabbing 174
  • The Bequests of the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth 208
  • The Family and Social Change 236
  • Modern Marriage 255
  • Is Liberty a Lost Blessing? 285
  • Who is Free? is It the Savage? 290
  • Liberty and Responsibility 310
  • Rights 358
  • Some Natural Rights 363
  • Some Points in the New Social Creed 369
  • An Examination of a Noble Sentiment 374
  • The Banquet of Life 379
  • The Boon of Nature 384
  • Land Monopoly 390
  • A Group of Natural Monopolies 396
  • Another Chapter on Monopoly 400
  • The Family Monopoly 405
  • The Family and Property 410
  • Equality 421
  • The Demand for Men 424
  • The Significance of the Demand for Men 430
  • What the "Social Question" Is 435
  • What Emancipates 442
  • Power and Progress 448
  • Consequences of Increased Social Power 454
  • Who Win by Progress? 460
  • The Forgotten Man 466
  • A Parable 497
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