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Living Together and Christian Ethics: 21 (New Studies in Christian Ethics, Series Number 21)

Living Together and Christian Ethics: 21 (New Studies in Christian Ethics, Series Number 21)

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Adrian Thatcher
Cambridge University Press, 3/21/2002
EAN 9780521802048, ISBN10: 0521802040

Hardcover, 316 pages, 22.1 x 14.2 x 2 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Living Together and Christian Ethics is the first positive, in-depth study of cohabitation outside marriage from a mainstream Christian theological perspective. The book retrieves the traditions of betrothal from the Bible and church history, and shows how these can transform Christian attitudes to living together before marriage. A crucial distinction is made between prenuptial cohabitation where marriage is intended, and nonnuptial cohabitation where it is avoided. Since betrothal was widely understood as a real beginning of marriage, the book argues for a complete pastoral, theological and liturgical renewal that reclaims the riches of forgotten Christian marital traditions and redeploys them in conveying the good news of the faith to women and men who are not yet married. The book takes issue with theologians who marginalize marriage, and suggests that the recognition of marital values can act as a helpful bridge between Christian teaching and people who are not formally married.

Part I. Living Together as a Theological Problem
1. A guide to living together
2. Living together
a preliminary theological analysis
3. Testing the betrothal solution
Part II. An Exercise in Retrieval - Bringing Back Betrothal
4. The bible and betrothal
5. Evidence from liturgy and law
6. Whatever happened to betrothal?
Part III. Extending the Marital Norm
7. Betrothal, consent and consummation
8. The sacramental beginning of marriage
9. Extending the marital norm
Appendix. A rite of betrothal before marriage.

‘The significance of the subject matter of this book is beyond doubt. … this is a very important response to the developing marriage crisis.' Stephen Platten

'This is a wonderful book and it should be required reading for every priest and minister …'. Michael Northcott, The Expository Times

‘This latest book on cohabitation appears in the Cambridge series New Studies in Christian Ethics, and is marked by all the engaging energy and liveliness of [Thatcher’s] previous work.’ Church Times

‘One will certainly encourage one’s students to read this hypnotically well-written addition to theological aesthetics …’. Scottish Journal of Theology

‘… a well-argued and thought-provoking book …’. Studies in Christian Ethics