The Future of Christian Marriage

Mark Regnerus. Oxford Univ., $29.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-19-006493-8
Sociologist Regnerus (Cheap Sex) sets out in this instructive work to investigate how the worldwide trend of declining marriage rates affects the Christian faith. He offers a brief history of biblical marriage and unpacks the ways marriage is sometimes viewed as a religious union and sometimes as a civil one. In researching attitudes about marriage, Regnerus interviewed 190 young adults (all practicing Christians) from seven countries. From these, he gleaned insights into how marriage has become a capstone—making the commitment after one puts all of one’s ducks in a row—rather than the foundation from which two people build a life together. He attributes this change to shifting societal and economic pressures: “Marriage is morphing away from being a populist institution... to becoming an elite, voluntary, consumption-oriented, and oft-temporary arrangement.” That shift, along with the rise of noncommittal sex, cohabitation, social media, and fear of commitment, he argues, has led to the dramatic decrease in marriage rates. In his conclusion, Regnerus, who calls himself “a fan of marriage,” provides his own marriage tips for Christians, such as finding “marriage-friendly subcultures” and making one’s home a “haven.” Regnerus’s thorough work will make Christians rethink what marriage means and why marriage matters. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-19-006495-2
Digital Format - 978-0-19-006496-9
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-19-006494-5
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