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Koers

On-line version ISSN 0023-270X

Abstract

RAATH, A.. Moral-jural reflections on the right to marital dignity and the "nursery of human society": Interpreting Luther's views on conjugal rights and benevolent love. Koers (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.73, n.3, pp. 411-443. ISSN 0023-270X.

At the advent of the Reformation, the institution of marriage, with particular emphasis on the marriage of priests and the degeneration of married life in Germany, proved to be a contentious matter in the discourse on marriage between Martin Luther and his colleague Melanchthon on the one hand and the papal authorities on the other. Although Luther subscribed to the basic definition of marriage postulated by the classical Roman jurists, he placed the issue of man's "de facto" conjugal union in a broader perspective of moral-jural right as the foundation of the spouses' duties and rights in marriage. Hence the distinction between "de facto" and "de jure" conjugal union enabled Luther and Melanchthon to develop a broader natural law-inspired view on marital dignity and the right thereto. In this article the origin, content and some implications of Luther's reformational perspectives on the dignity of marriage are investigated.

Keywords : conjugal rights; Luther, M. marriage.

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