Bonds that Bind

David Gushee examines marriage and divorce in historical and contemporary contexts.
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"It is easy to despair about the future of marriage as a social institution in Western societies," writes David P. Gushee, a professor and senior fellow at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. In this scholarly but heartfelt book, he explores the process that led to marriage's weakened state.

Gushee invites us to examine marriage and divorce in historical and contemporary contexts. While acknowledging that there is "no technical solution" to fixing marriages, he offers an approach based on four concepts: creation purposes of marriage, covenant structure, kingdom possibilities, and community context. He also includes a chapter with practical ideas about how churches can strengthen marriages and prevent divorce.

Gushee argues that the idea of marriage as a "covenant" means that its bonds should be difficult to break, though he is sympathetic to divorce in cases of sexual infidelity, desertion, and violence (and gives biblical support for his position). Emphasizing the effects of divorce on children, he offers intriguing ideas about what new, more difficult marriage and divorce laws might look like.

This thoughtful, reasonably accessible work should find a good home in pastoral and counseling libraries and as a university text.

Related Elsewhere:

Getting Marriage Right is available from and other book retailers.

More information is available from the publisher.

More information about the author, David P. Gushee, is available from his web site at Union University.

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