• Clandestine Marriage and Parental Consent in John Calvin's Geneva: The Gradual Synthesis of Theology, Statutes, and Case Law

    Author(s):
    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Date:
    2012
    Subject(s):
    Law, Religion, Church history, Calvin, Jean, 1509-1564
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Geneva, Secret Marriage, Mutual Consent, Parental Consent, Law and Religion, Marriage, John Calvin
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/8jnp-6405
    Abstract:
    Parental consent to engagement and marriage was one of the staples of early Protestant theology and law. John Calvin and his Genevan colleague declared parental consent, like individual consent, to be indispensable to the validity of a minor’s engagement. The Geneva Consistory inquired closely into the engagements of minors, and routinely dissolved them if their parents dissented. Not only the couple themselves, but also a parent, guardian, witness, or notary to an engagement contract could be punished if they failed to get the necessary consent from both sets of parents. But Calvin ultimately rejected the law of some Protestant communities that allowed parents to annul their children’s clandestine marriages as well, declaring, fearing the dangers of parental tyranny and the costs of marital breakup to the couple and their children. He addressed these issues at length in his writings and sermons, and applied these teachings in the detailed work of the Genevan Consistory.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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