Till Death Do Them Part: Divorce and the Church
Mar 09, 2017
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
|Where||French House Grand Salon|
|Contact Name||Allison Howell|
LSU students and faculty
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Ann Sumner Holmes, associate dean of the Ogden Honors College, discusses her new book The Church of England and Divorce in the Twentieth Century: Legalism and Grace.
From denying divorce absolutely, to acknowledging that adultery could be a ground for divorce, to allowing divorced persons to be remarried in church, the Church of England sought to maintain the definition of marriage as a lifelong union. The Biblical injunction, ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder’ appeared to make divorce impossible. Yet, after 1857, English secular courts could legally end a marriage. The reality of human experience demonstrated that the marriage ceremony did not create an indissoluble union. No matter how determined the Church was to give meaning to the words ‘till death us do part’, marriages did break down, couples divorced, and divorced Anglicans wanted to remarry in church. The clergy struggled with maintaining a strict discipline while providing pastoral care for divorced persons. The debate over divorce reform provides a model for churches of considering social changes and human behavior, as well as traditional doctrines, in developing ecclesiastical policies regarding controversial social issues such as remarriage after divorce and, currently, same sex marriage.
Ann Sumner Holmes has been on the faculty at LSU since 1987. She has published articles on the double standard in the English divorce laws, maternal adultery and child custody, and a comparison of King Edward VIII and Prince Charles. As Associate Dean, Dr. Holmes works with the LSU faculty to develop new classes for students in the Honors College.
A reception will follow the lecture.