Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective
By: John Witte Jr. and Eliza Ellison
Category: Literature, Marriage

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Product Details

Covenant marriages requiring premarital counseling and tighter strictures on divorce have recently emerged in some American states. At the same time, the doctrine of covenant has reemerged in religious circles as a common way to map the spiritual dimensions of marriage. Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective brings together eminent scholars from Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic religious traditions as well as experts on American covenant marriage. The introduction carries out an unprecedented comparison of contract and covenant in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim understandings of marriage. The rest of the book elucidates various facets of marriage from the perspectives of both jurisprudence and religion, producing an enlightening integrated picture of the legal and spiritual dimensions of marriage.

Contributors: Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Margaret F. Brinig, Michael J. Broyde, Eliza Ellison, Stanley Samuel Harakas, Peter Hay, James Turner Johnson, Michael G. Lawler, Richard C. Martin, Joel A. Nichols, Stephen L. Nock, David Novak, Katherine Shaw Spaht, Max L. Stackhouse, John Witte Jr.

About the Editors

John Witte Jr. is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A specialist in legal history, marriage, and religious liberty, he has authored numerous books.

Eliza Ellison is projects director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A specialist in feminist theology and literature, she is writing on the theological ironies of martyrology in early modern Anabaptist theology.


A really important book on what is arguably America's most significant problem. A strong society depends on loving and lasting marriages to provide for many of the needs of both its adults and its children, but we Americans have not yet figured out how to foster such marriages. This book explores the possibility of invoking in American law the concept of marriage as covenant embedded in all three Western religions and now an option in some states, and it does so from varying legal and religious perspectives and with thoughtful arguments pro and con. No book could be more timely or important for our personal lives and our society as a whole.
Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, University of Judaism, Los Angeles