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Koers

versión On-line ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.73 no.3 Pretoria  2008

 

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

 

Moreel-juridiese oorwegings van die reg op die waardigheid van die huwelik en die "kweekhuis van die menslike samelewing": 'n interpretasie van Luther se standpunte oor huweliksregte en welwillende liefde

 

 

A. Raath

Department of Constitutional Law & Philosophy of Law, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein. E-mail: raathA.RD@mail.uovs.ac.za

 

 


ABSTRACT

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.

Key concepts: conjugal rights; Luther, M. marriage


OPSOMMING

Met die aanvang van die Reformasie het die huweliksinstelling, met besondere verwysing na die huwelike van priesters en die verval van die huwelikslewe in Duitsland, 'n kontensieuse aangeleentheid geblyk te wees in die voortgaande diskoers tussen Luther en sy student Melanchthon aan die een kant en die pouslike owerhede aan die ander kant. Alhoewel Luther die basiese definisie van die huwelik volgens die klassiek-Romeinse juriste onderskryf het, het hy die "de facto" huwelikseenheid in n wyer perspektief van moreel-juridiese reg ingebed, synde die basis van die huweliksgenote se verpligtings en regte in die huwelik. Dus het die onderskeid tussen "de facto"- en "de jure"-huwelikseenheid Luther en Melanchthon in staat gestel om 'n wyernatuurreg-geïnspireerde perspektief op die waardigheid van die huwelik te ontwikkel as wat tot op daardie stadium die geval was. In hierdie artikel word die oorsprong, inhoud en enkele implikasies van Luther se reformatoriese perspektiewe op die waardigheid van die huwelik ondersoek.

Kernbegrippe: huwelik; huweliksregte; Luther, M.


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

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WA see LUTHER, M. 1883-1987.         [ Links ]

 

 

56 WA (Br) = Luther's letters; WA (S) = Luther's writings; WA (P) = Luther's sermons; WA (TR) = Luther's table talk.
57 Psalm 2: WA, 40, 193-312 (SL 5), 74-189; Psalm 45: WA, 40, 472-610 (SL 5), 340-471; Psalm 51: WA, 55, 204-250 (SL 5), 188-237; Psalm 26: WA, 17(I), 228-243 (SL 5), 292-307; Psalm 19: WA, 31 (I), 580-586 (SL 5), 1332-1339; Psalm 23: WA, 51, 267-295 (SL 5), 1332-1339.
58 Psalm 68 (1521): WA, 8, 4-35 (SL 5) 656-659; Psalm 82 (c. 1530): WA, 31(1), 189-218 (SL 5) 696-731, HE 4, 287-323; Psalm 101 (1534): WA, 51, 200-264 (SL 5) 800-887 (Also note WA (S) 53, 659-678); Psalm 112 (1526): WA, 19, 297-336 (SL 5) 1098-1131; Psalm 90 (1534-1535): WA, 40-3, 476-594 (SL 5) 732-799; Psalm 110 (1535): WA, 41, 79-239 (SL 5) 922-1055; Psalm 111 (1530): WA, 31, 393-426 (SL 5), 1056-1097.
59 Sermon on the Mount (1532): WA, 32, 299-544 (SL 7) 346-677; Magnificat (1521): WA, 7, 538-604 (SL 7) 1372-1445, HE 3, 119-200.
60 Chapters 1 & 2: WA, 46, 538-789 (SL 7) 1538-1849; Chapters 3 & 4: WA, 47, 1231, SL 7, 1848-2147.
61 (SBBC) The Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ - against the fanatics (1526), 328-360.
62 (SML) Sermon on the marriage of Sigismund von Lindenau (1545): WA, 49, 797-805) This sermon alludes to Hebrews 14:4: "Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous."; (SFF) Sermon on the fourth and fifth commandments (1528): WA, 30-1, 1-122.
63 (EGA) Exhortation to All clergy assembled at Augsburg (1530), 3-61; (TF&L) Theses concerning faith and law (1535), 104-133.
64 Corresponding references to the standard edition of Weimar (WA) (1883-1987) are provided after the bibliographical information of specific volumes of Luther's Works where applicable. In some instances the corresponding references to the St. Louis edition (SE) of Luther's Works are also given.
65 (POT) Prefaces to the Old Testament, 235-332; (PA) Prefaces to the Apocrypha, 335-353; (PNT) Prefaces to the New Testament, 355-410.
66 (CCCS) Confession concerning Christ's Supper (1528), 151-371.
67 (EM) The estate of marriage (1522), 11-49 (WA, 10(2), 275-304); (PCM) That parents should neither compel nor hinder the marriage of their children and that children should not become engaged without their parents' consent (1524), 379393 (WA, 15, (155) 163-169).
68 (CC) On the councils of the church (1538), 3-177 (WA, 50, 509-653).
69 (SEM) A sermon on the estate of marriage (1519), 3-15 (WA, 2, (162) 166-171); (CNGN) To the Christian nobility of the German nation concerning the reform of the Christian estate (1520), 114-219.
70 (SBS) Whether soldiers, too, can be saved (1526), 84-137; (WAT) On war against the Turk (1529), 154-205; (OMM) On marriage matters (1530), 257-320 (WA, 30-3, (198), 205-248).
71 Table talk collected by Anthony Lauterbach and Jerome Weller: In praise of women (1537) (selections from WA, TT & WA, 48, 365-719 & Table talk collected by Arnold Cordatus: No. 2867b: Annoyances and blessings in marriage, January 2, 1533).
72 (IPP) Instructions for the visitors of parish pastors in electoral Saxony (1528), 262-320; (TK) The Keyes (1530), 320-377.
73 Notes on Ecclesiastes (1526): WA, 20, 7-203 (SL 5) 1372-1579; Lectures on the Song of Solomon (1530-1531): WA, 31-2, 586-769 (SL 5) 1580-1659); Treatise on the Last Words of David (1543): WA, 54, 28-100 (SL 3) 1880-1973.
74 1 Corinthians 7 (1523); 1 Corinthians 15 (1534); Lectures on Timothy (1527-1528).
75 Psalm 119 (c. 1515).
76 Luther's works (LW). ((CF) Augsburg Confession (1530); (AAC) Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1-1, 14) (1531). (At first regarded as a private publication of Melanchthon, it became the official confession of faith when it was signed, along with the Augsburg Confession in Smalcald in 1537.); (SC) The small catechism (1529) (1-8, 15); (LC) The large catechism (1529) (1-6, 35).

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