Sex, Marriage and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva I: Courtship, Engagement and Marriage
Sex, Marriage and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva I: Courtship, Engagement and Marriage (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005) (with Robert M. Kingdon)
You would not expect this from his dour reputation, but John Calvin transformed the Western understanding of sex, marriage, and family life. In this fascinating, even sensational, volume John Witte and Robert Kingdon treat comprehensively the new theology and law of domestic life that Calvin and his fellow reformers established in sixteenth-century Geneva. Bringing to light and life hundreds of newly discovered cases and theological texts, Witte and Kingdon trace the subtle historical forms and norms of sex, marriage, and family life that still shape us today.
Table of Contents
"There is so much good to be said about this book: the teamwork that such a project entailed, the thoroughness and clarity of the text, the indices contained in each volume rather than being reserved for the end. Scholars will appreciate the transcriptions of primary source documents in this book, many from original manuscript sources, painstaking to read from the handwritten original."
-- Renaissance Quarterly
"The documents from Calvin's Geneva that are reproduced here are very well chosen, eloquently translated, and deftly analyzed . . . should be of great interest to anyone interested in the history of marriage and the reformation."
-- Catholic Historical Review
"A fascinating and extremely useful volume. Its thirteen chapters are a mix of comprehensive, yet succinct, introduction and commentary combined with excellent primary documents."
-- Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"A splendid accomplishment. John Witte and Robert Kingdon move gracefully from theological tracts and legal treatises to court records and correspondence, stopping to take note of revealing incidents from John Calvin's own life. The result sheds new light on the history of married life."
-- R. H. Helmholz, University of Chicago Law School
"Give a new generation a monograph on Calvinist views of sex, marriage, and family and you may catch their minds for a day. But give them a multivolume edition of the same subjects in superb translations and you start up new schools of scholarship. With this first volume on courtship, engagement, and marriage John Witte and Robert Kingdon are teaching a new generation how to fish in Geneva."
-- Steven Ozment, Harvard University, author of A Mighty Fortress
"Witte and Kingdon provide a wonderful range of diverse primary source documents that will make fascinating reading for students and scholars alike."
-- Elsie McKee, Princeton Theological Seminary
"Highly recommended. The primary sources in this volume show the importance of matters of the heart to Geneva's theologians and civil authorities during the 16th century."