Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Before or after the wedding?

There are two traditions regarding the beginning of marriage. The conventional Christian view is that a marriage begins with a wedding. An earlier Christian view is that marriage begins with betrothal, followed later by the marriage ceremony. Sexual experience regularly began after betrothal and before the wedding. There are historical and theological grounds for this earlier view, but there is also an explanation for its eclipse in the 18th and 19th centuries. Might this earlier alternative view of the entry into marriage have something to teach the churches in their struggle to accommodate cohabitation? Could conclusions be drawn from the earlier tradition for the churches’ developing theology of marriage? for more click here

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