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How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments
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Book description

Among the contributions of the medieval church to western culture was the idea that marriage was one of the seven sacraments, which defined the role of married folk in the church. Although it had ancient roots, this new way of regarding marriage raised many problems, to which scholastic theologians applied all their ingenuity. By the late Middle Ages, the doctrine was fully established in Christian thought and practice but not yet as dogma. In the sixteenth century, with the entire Catholic teaching on marriage and celibacy and its associated law and jurisdiction under attack by the Protestant reformers, the Council of Trent defined the doctrine as a dogma of faith for the first time but made major changes to it. Rather than focusing on a particular aspect of intellectual and institutional developments, this book examines them in depth and in detail from their ancient precedents to the Council of Trent.


'For theologians interested in the history of sacramental theology, this monograph is a [must-read] … Philip L. Reynolds is an historical theologian and here he gives a masterly and accessible demonstration of what the his­torical theologian does and why he does it … One of the great, perhaps unintended, benefits of [Reynolds'] monograph is that it contributes vast theological data and analysis to demonstrate yet one more time doctrinal development in the Catholic Church … this is a carefully researched and meticulously detailed history of the theology of the sacrament of marriage.'

Michael G. Lawler Source: Marriage, Families and Spirituality

'No medievalist can afford to ignore this book, which is a truly magisterial achievement, worthy of the highest praise.'

Alastair Minnis Source: Medium Ævum

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