Guest / Limited Access /

In the debate over homosexual marriage, a predominant stereotype holds that there are two distinct and opposing sides. On the side that favors it, of course, are all fair and open-minded people who possess depths of understanding about what enlightened societies should do. On the other are small-minded, backwoods homophobes.

Of course, plenty of evidence exists for the diversity of minds, great and small, on both sides. An impressive gathering of some of these minds and their compelling concerns about the future of same-sex marriage are on display in an important new book, The Meaning of Marriage. Edited by Robert George of Princeton and Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago, this volume contains a spirited collection of papers delivered at a Princeton conference in December 2004.

The book draws from a politically diverse, multidisciplinary panel of historians, ethicists, philosophers, economists, sociologists, political scientists, psychiatrists, and public policy experts. While focusing primarily on same-sex marriage, these essays take a larger look at marriage's history, social roles, and changing face.

...

Uncomfortable Questions

Marriage is a hot-button political issue. So far, 39 states have protected marriage by constitutional amendment or statute, or both. Voters in at least 7 more will consider the issue this year. Elshtain says that marriage has become a polarizing topic because it forces us to ask uncomfortable but basic questions about our humanity. Related to marriage, of course, are abortion, cloning, stem cells, and sexuality. These issues are controversial precisely because so much of our culture has forgotten what humanity really is.

British philosopher Roger Scruton explores marriage from a wide-lens ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedKay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously
Kay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously
One year after the suicide of her son, she shares her story of grief, mystery, and hope.
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickWatch and Wait
Watch and Wait
Tarrying with Christ and the fearful dying.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisJuly July

In the Magazine

July 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.