Sacrament of Marriage

JPI 634/826

The Sacrament of Marriage is a privileged point of contact between nature and grace. Christ did not establish a new "outward sign" or a new form for entering into marriage. Instead, he recalled the original truth of creation: "he who made them from the beginning made them male and female . . . 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one . . . therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder" (Mt 19:4-6). Rather than "adding" something to marriage from outside, Christ reveals the fullness of God's original plan for marriage and accomplishes this plan through his death and Resurrection. Henceforth, marriage between baptized represents and participates in Christ's spousal love for the Church. In order to gain a deeper understanding of this mystery, the course consists of three parts. Part One provides an overview of the nature and sacramentality of Christian marriage. The second part of the course explores the history of the doctrine of marriage within the Catholic tradition from Augustine through the Second Vatican Council. We will also consider the understanding of marriage in Protestant theology and in the Orthodox Churches. The last part of the course explores some disputed questions and controversies regarding the nature and sacramentality of marriage in light of the theology of John Paul II.

Course Texts for Spring 2017

  • John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio. ISBN: 0819818453
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • Marc Ouellet, Mystery and Sacrament of Love: A Theology of Marriage and Family for the New Evangelization. Eerdmans ISBN: 9780802873347
  • Pius XI, Casti Connubii. ISBN: 978-0978298562

Associated Faculty

« Back to Courses