Marriage and Virginity as States of Life

JPI 549/752

This course considers the concept of a “state of life” as a specification of the human vocation to love (Familiaris consortio, 11). The tradition has often stated that marriage and virginity are complementary rather than fundamentally opposed to each other. At the center of this complementarity is each state’s analogous realization of the interior “form” of the vocation of human nature itself as revealed in the life and mission of Christ. The course explores the foundation of the two states in creation and their eschatological destiny, whether and in what sense we might call marriage a “state of perfection,” and the relation of the two states to the human person’s most fundamental and interior level of freedom. Readings include texts drawn from John Paul II, H. U. von Balthasar, St. Thomas Aquinas, D. Crawford, and M. Ouellet.

Course Texts for Spring 2015

  • Lumen Gentium
  • Gaudium et Spes
  • Perfectae caritatis
  • Apostolicam Actuositatem
  • Presbiterorum Ordinis
  • John Paul II,  Familiaris Consortio (1981); Redemptionis Donum (1984); Christifideles Laici (1988); Mulieris Dignitatem, (1988); Pastores dabo vobis (1992); Vita Consecrata (1996); Letter to Families (1994); Pastores gregis (2003)
  • Pope Francis, “To All Consecrated People” (2014)
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church (Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994), 1602-1666.
  • Crawford D., Marriage and the Sequela Christi (Lateran University Press: Rome 2004).
  • Ratzinger J., Called to Communion, (Ignatius Press, San Francisco 1996).
  • Ratzinger J., Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, (Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2005).
  • H.U., von Balthasar, The Christian State of Life, (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 1983).
  • H. U. Balthasar, The Laity and the Life of the Counsels: The Church's Mission in the World, (Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2003).

Associated Faculty

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