Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4750
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  • Title: The European Family and Canon Law
  • Source: Continuity and Change 6, 3 (December 1991): Pages 347 - 360.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Adoption Canon Law Consanguinity Endogamy Family Fathers Genealogy Goody, Jack, Anthropologist Inheritance Legitimation Marriage Patrilineage Social Change Social Groups Social History
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: The general law of the Roman Church imposed limitations on the possibility of producing an heir by its opposition to polygamy and to divorce with remarriage, and by its imposition of important restrictions on endogamy. But these canonical limitations were developed in the context of marriage - a special concern of the Church - rather than of the family. From other points of view, the canonists tended to assist the continuation of the family by their support of legitimation. Opposition to adoption is not found in the general law of the Church; adoption was, rather, taken for granted. This paper argues that in the search for the European family, historians should pay more attention to the Church's role in promoting individuals' choice for a celibate or a married life and, within marriage, in the choice of spouse.
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  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 02684160
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