This 2007 book analyzes how, why, and when pre-modern Europeans documented their marriages - through property deeds, marital settlements, dotal charters, church court depositions, wedding liturgies, and other indicia of marital consent. The authors consider both the function of documentation in the process of marrying and what the surviving documents say about pre-modern marriage and how people in the day understood it. Drawing on archival evidence from classical Rome, medieval France, England, Iceland, and Ireland, and Renaissance Florence, Douai, and Geneva, the volume provides a rich interdisciplinary analysis of the range of marital customs, laws, and practices in Western Christendom. The chapters include freshly translated specimen documents that bring the reader closer to the actual practice of marrying than the rmative literature of pre-modern theology and can law.
Philip L. Reynolds is Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He is the author of the book, Marriage in the Western Church: The Christianization of Marriage During Patristic Times and Early Medieval Periods, which is widely cited as the leading text on marriage in the first millennium of the Christian era, and scores of scholarly articles published in leading medieval journals. John Witte, Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A world class scholar of legal history, marriage, and religious liberty, he has published 120 articles, 8 journal symposia, and 18 books including Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment. His writings have appeared in German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Romanian translations.