(Public Discourse) Andrew Walker—Marriage, Community, & Kinship

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Humans are social animals. Although we exist as individuals, we do not live in isolation. The need for community is woven into our being: to be human is to be part of a community of individuals. We do not reproduce asexually, but by means of the sexual union of two individuals, male and female, which generates the gift of new humanity. Our marriages are not lone, solitary institutions: we may enter marriage as individuals, but marriage finds its truest expression in the “one-flesh union” that unites a man and a woman as one.

The promise of marriage is the communal benefit it offers society. Where questions arise that purportedly imply exceptions to the conjugal definition of marriage, the tacit assumption behind many such questions is a latent and false conception of individuality—that men and women within a marriage are lone actors who unite for the purpose of marriage, fulfill an act of social obligation, and continue on in singular, non-generative roles as the participants in marriage mature. This version of marriage—one where individuals within a marriage itself define marriage—misses the forest for the trees.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologySociology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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