Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 497
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
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  • Title: Christianity and Endogamy
  • Source: Continuity and Change 6, 3 (December 1991): Pages 295 - 333.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Anthropology Canon Law Consanguinity Endogamy Exchange of Women Exogamy Family Genealogy Historians Incest Inheritance Jewish Law Marriage Nieces Sexuality Social Change Social Groups Social History Uncles
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: In recent years, social historians have extensively debated the reasons and effects of the Roman church's bans upon marriage between kin, which were increasingly tightened from the fourth century onward. Jack Goody's assertions concerning the economic basis for these marriage regulations and their consequences for the development of marriage and the family in Europe have been particularly widely discussed. In contrast to these hypotheses, this paper points out that during the early Middle Ages several other Christian churches, and even some Jewish groups, similarly developed various forms of extended bans upon endogamy. A merely economic explanation does not appear capable of accounting for these phenomena; at the same time, the consequences of these bans for the historical development of the European family have been overestimated. Instead, Christianity's rejection of the religious importance of lineage appears to have been more important in influencing the extension of such bans.
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 02684160