Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5776
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Bonfield , Lloyd.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Canon Law and Family Law in Medieval Western Christendom
  • Source: Continuity and Change 6, 3 (December 1991): Pages 361 - 374.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Adoption Canon Law Children Customary Law Demography Ecclesiastical Reform Endogamy Family Genealogy Goody, Jack, Anthropologist Guardians and Guardianship Inheritance Marriage Patrilineage Social Change Social Groups Social History
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: This article considers the interrelationship between church law and secular law as observed by Professor Jack Goody in "The development of the family and marriage in Europe." In his book, Goody forcefully argues that the Christian church attempted to bolster its wealth and authority through control of the domestic domain. In Goody's view, the Church did so by controlling the law of marriage, and by so doing, strategies of inheritance. In particular, according to Goody, the Christian church opposed one important strategy of heirship, adoption, which had served the Romans well but disappeared from Western Europe after the demise of Roman law. This article attempts to draw a distinction between marriage law and inheritance law, and argues that while formal, legal adoption may not have existed in medieval Christendom, alternative strategies of heirship implemented by freedom of disposition allowed childless families to select heirs.
  • Author's Affiliation: Tulane University Law School, New Orleans
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 02684160
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