This book is the next volume in Levering’s Engaging Doctrine series. The prior volume of the series examined the doctrine of creation. The present volume examines the purpose of creation: the marriage of God and humans. God created the cosmos for the purpose of the marriage of God and his people?and through his people, the marriage of God and the entire creation. Given that the central meaning or “prime analogate” of marriage is the marriage of God and humankind, the study of human marriage needs to be shaped by this eschatological goal and foregrounded as a dogmatic theme. After a first chapter defending and explaining the biblical witness to the marriage of God and his people, the book explores various themes: marriage as an image of God, original sin as the fall of the primordial marriage, the cross of Jesus Christ and marital self-sacrificial love, the procreative and unitive ends of marriage, marriage as a sacrament, and marriage’s importance for social justice and for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God. Along the way, the book provides an introduction to the key biblical, patristic, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers and controversies regarding the doctrine of marriage.
Matthew Levering holds the James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary. He is the author or co-author of thirty books, and the editor or co-editor of more than twenty. He co-edits two quarterly journals and is presently the President of the Academy of Catholic Theology. Recent publications include Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation, Engaging the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and Engaging the Doctrine of Creation.