Prof. Adrian Thatcher
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Living Together and Christian Ethics

I wrote Living Together and Christian Ethics in 2002, three years after Marriage after Modernity. The 1990s had seen a big rise in living together, and while I was writing Marriage and Modernity, I became aware that for most of Christian history getting married was a different process from that which is practised today. I began to see that retrieving this process, especially the practice of betrothal, and making clearer the ancient distinction between the spousals and the nuptials, was vital for a theology of marriage that did not marginalise couples who were already living together. So further work on the topic led to Living Together and Christian Ethics.

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 living together but not yet formally married. Eight years on, I remain more convinced than ever that the argument of this book is sound, that living together before marriage is here to stay among church members, and that they deserve better pastoral treatment than they usually get. The book is positively reviewed by, among others, Kevin Kelly (Studies in Christian Ethics, 16.2.2003, pp.119-23), M. Christian Green (Journal of Religion, 83.3. July 2003), Marilyn Martone (Theological Studies, 64.2. June 2003, pp.447-9), Michael Northcott (Expository Times, 114.7. April 2003, pp.207-8), Stephen Platten (Reviews in Religion and Theology, 9.5, Nov.2002, pp.467-70), Edward Vacek (Theology Today, 59.3 Oct. 2002, pp.498-500), David Matzko McCarthy (Theology and Sexuality, 9.1. Sept.2002, pp.123-4), Al McFadyen (Church Times, 7310, 11 April, 2003), and Geert Faseur (INTAMS Review, 9.1, Spring 2003, pp.125-6).

Cambridge. 2002 978-0521009553
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