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Re: Marriage, With Child, Sex and motherhood.

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2006, 6:35
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Quoting R A Brown <ray@...>: > > >>Michael Adams wrote: >> >>>People forget that marriage for many centuries was a SECULAR >>>thing, only during the middle ages with the rise of the Catholic >>>church and its records keeping, did marriage become religious, >> >>I hate to disillusion you, but Christians were having Christian marriage >>long before the Middle Ages. Indeed, during the 'Dark Ages' that >>followed the gradual break up of the western Roman Empire, there were >>precious few civil authorities to regulate secular marriage - and that >>was way before the Middle Ages. > > > Depends a bit what you mean by "Christian marrige".
"The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent. 'To be free' means: - not being under constraint; - not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law" [Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1625] The latter impediments mean that the neither of the two parties are already married and that they are not related in such a way that the union would be incestuous.
> From what I've read, it was > only in the 9th century that the idea became accepted in Gaul/Francia/France > that a proper marriage needed to be conducted by a priest,
Gaul/Francia/France was not a political unit in the 9th century, nor in the preceding centuries following the break-up of the western Empire, so I doubt whether any generalizations are helpful. In any case, according to Catholic theology, which is what Mr Walker specifically mentioned, the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony are the two persons getting married: "In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church." [CCC 1623] Later in the catechism it is made clear that _ordinarily_ a priest or deacon should assist at the marriage both as witness to the giving of consent and to bestow the blessings of the Church. In exceptional circumstances, the witness of the local Christian community must suffice. I guess in the troubled period following the break-up of the western Empire, it took time for things to settle, but ......
> and I imagine > similar things hold for at least the rest of western Europe, but this, of > course, doesn't mean that previous generations of Christians did not think > marriage an institution with religious significance.
Indeed not. As Saint Paul wrote: "For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband." [Ephesians, 5:31 - 33] That, methinks, predates the Middle Ages by quite a few centuries :) The idea that marriage only became religious due to the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages is IMO a wee bit ridiculous. It would surely imply that Jews, for example, got the idea of celebrating marriage in a synagogue from Medieval Catholics!!! But I have a suspicion that marriages were being celebrated in synagogues way before Christianity was known. My understanding is that throughout history & before, where society is religious, marriage has some sort of religious significance; where society is largely secular, marriage is also largely secular. I know that's terribly simplistic, and maybe senility is setting in ;) While some of this may be relevant to creators of concultures, especially 'alternative history' concultures, I guess, I really do not see the relevance of this to conlanging. -- Ray ================================== ================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760