What’s the Matter with Marriage? Some Early Christian Answers

What’s the Matter with Marriage? Some Early Christian Answers

Elizabeth Clark (Religion / History, Duke University)
Monday, February 14 / 12:00 PM
HSSB 4041

In recent centuries, many have assumed that marriage, family, and home were normative Christian ideals. Nineteenth-century notions of domesticity and twentieth-century praise of “family values” encouraged the view that Christianity supported a pro-family agenda. Yet Christians of the first to fifth centuries, to the contrary, believed that the renunciation of family, home, marriage, reproduction, and property was the highest ideal.  With ingenious arguments and astute Scriptural interpretation, they fervently argued the “anti-marriage” line in ways that may shock or amuse readers today. This lecture will explore some of their answers to “What’s the Matter with Marriage?”
Elizabeth Clark is John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Religion at Duke University, where she also holds a dual appointment as Professor of History.  She is one of the world’s leading scholars on early Christianity.
Sponsored by the Departments of History and Religious Studies, the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program, the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG, and the IHC.

In recent centuries, many have assumed that marriage, family, and home were normative Christian ideals. Nineteenth-century notions of domesticity and twentieth-century praise of “family values” encouraged the view that Christianity supported a pro-family agenda. Yet Christians of the first to fifth centuries, to the contrary, believed that the renunciation of family, home, marriage, reproduction, and property was the highest ideal.  With ingenious arguments and astute Scriptural interpretation, they fervently argued the “anti-marriage” line in ways that may shock or amuse readers today. This lecture will explore some of their answers to “What’s the Matter with Marriage?”

Elizabeth Clark is John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Religion at Duke University, where she also holds a dual appointment as Professor of History.  She is one of the world’s leading scholars on early Christianity.

Sponsored by the Departments of History and Religious Studies, the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program, the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG, and the IHC.

Website: http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/research/borderlands.html