Personalism in Marriage

John J. Coughlin

in Law, Person, and Community

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756773
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932177 | DOI:
Personalism in Marriage

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During the twentieth century the personalist perspective developed in the canon law of marriage. “Personalism” designates a broad philosophical movement that is opposed to an overly materialist conception in which the human person is depicted as merely a body that consists of particles of matter. It emphasizes the person as the fundamental category for explaining reality, and posits that the material universe is insignificant apart from the person's experience of it. This chapter suggests that the development of the personalist perspective in the canon law of marriage logically proceeds from the Augustinian traditional goods of marriage and emerged in response to history. The chapter consists of three major sections. First, it discusses the historical development of Augustine's traditional three goods. Second, it summarizes the classical theory of marriage developed during the medieval period and its subsequent demise with the secularization of marriage. Third, it presents the personalist perspective on marriage as a response to secularization, and offers some examples of the ways in which the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota has integrated the personalist perspective.

Keywords: personalist perspective; canon law; Augustine; traditional goods; secularization; jurisprudence; Roman Rota

Chapter.  13203 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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