• Marriage Contracts, Liturgies, and Properties in Reformation Geneva

    Author(s):
    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Date:
    2007
    Subject(s):
    Church history, John Calvin
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Geneva, marital property, dowry, inheritance, annulment, Law and religion, Marriage law, Marital contract
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/sekt-jr54
    Abstract:
    In John Calvin’s Geneva, as much as today, marriage was a contract between a fit man and a fit woman of the age of consent. Marriage was much more than a contract. It was also a spiritual, social, natural, and economic unit that could involve many other parties besides the couple. But marriage was never less than a contract. It could not be created unless both the man and the woman properly consented to and celebrated this union. This Article analyzes the new Geneva theology and law of marriage contracts and marital property contracts both as set out in statutes and formal treatises and implemented by the Genevan consistory. Notable are the Genevan authorities' deep concern for freedom and capacity of both parties to enter engagement and marriage contracts, the dramatic changes they introduced in the mandatory wedding liturgy, and the complex laws and customs concerning engagement gifts, dowers, and dowries that they adopted and adapted often under Calvin's direct influence.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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